SRINAGAR: The Governor’s Administration today accorded sanction to the adoption of revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
According to the order issued by GAD, State Executive Committee (SEC) will place funds at the disposal of Departments/agencies for utilization as per SDRF norms and in line with government rules on financial matters based on the proposals received from administrative departments.
Whereas, the funds shall continue to be allocated and authorized for the expenditure out of SDRF by the Finance Department on the basis of recommendations of the SEC. The respective line departments shall certify that the proposals are covered under SDRF norms/guidelines and are not funded from any other State/central scheme etc.
The funds shall be utilized by the line departments/executing agencies in accordance with the laid down framework for administrative/technical/financial sanctions besides the guidelines/norms and ceilings of SDRF guidelines, the GAD order said.
The Department of DMRRR shall consolidate the proposals submitted by the administrative departments and place the same before SEC for allocation of funds.
“The SEC should approve the amount to be placed at the disposal of Financial Commissioner (Revenue), J&K, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir/Jammu and each Deputy Commissioner of the State for meeting out expenses on notified natural calamities as per SDRF guidelines,” the order stated.
According to the revised SOPs, in respect of damage to the private property (immovable), the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned District shall sanction the claims in accordance with the norms of assistance and ceiling thereof notified by MHA (GoI) under SDRF.
While as, the Additional District Development Commissioner (and in his absence the Additional Deputy Commissioner) shall be the chairman of the committee and ADC, District Treasury Officer/Chief Accounts Officer/ Accounts Officer, Assistant Commissioner (Revenue), Tehsildar (concerned) and Executive Engineer R&B (concerned) as members. The chairman of the committee may co-opt any other officer as member as he may deem fit.
“In respect of payment of relief in cases of milch/drought animal losses, the Deputy Commissioner shall sanction the claims as per the laid down SDRF norms/ceilings subject to its authentication/verification by a committee headed by Additional District Development Commissioner (and in his absence the Additional Deputy Commissioner).
“The members of the Committee are ADC, District Treasury Officer/ Chief Accounts Officer/ Accounts Officer, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, District Sheep Husbandry Officer and Tehsildar (concerned),” the GAD order said.
Similarly, in respect of crop loss, the claims shall be sanctioned by the respective Deputy Commissioners. The claims shall be sanctioned strictly as per the SDRF norms/guidelines and ceilings and for verification of such claims, a committee headed by Additional District Development Commissioner (in his absence the Additional Deputy Commissioner) with ADC, Chief Agriculture Officer, District Horticulture Officer and Tehsildar (concerned) as members.
For the restoration of public infrastructure, the Deputy Commissioners shall sanction works for temporary restoration as per SDRF guidelines/norms. The claims shall be considered after the same are authenticated by a team of officers viz; Superintending Engineer (concerned), Executive Engineer (concerned) and the Tehsildar (concerned) headed by the respective Additional District Development Commissioner (in his absence the Additional Deputy Commissioner).
The claims of SDRF shall be settled as per the delegation of powers enshrined in the J&K Book of Financial Powers. The claims beyond the jurisdiction of Deputy Commissioners shall be settled by the respective administrative departments strictly as per the notified guidelines/norms/ceiling notified by the MHA (GoI) in respect of such works undertaken by the department.
Further, the order said claims submitted to the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRRR) shall be routed through Director Finance, Department of DMRRR.
The Divisional Commissioners of the concerned Divisions shall be responsible for arranging/supervising the relief material vis-a-vis tents, blankets, ration, boats etc, whenever required. They shall also decide for keeping such stocks available at different places and supervise and monitor the working of the District committees on a quarterly basis to review the provisions under Disaster Management Plans, capacity building and preparedness of the District Disaster Management Authorities and line departments to meet any eventuality/disaster.
“Both the Divisional Commissioners shall review the Vulnerability and Hazard Risk Management in each District and assess the capacities to deal with the disasters and identify the gaps and issue instructions to the Stake Holders.
They shall conduct sample audit in respect of expenditures in each District and department in their respective Divisions and furnish reports with their considered comments on the quarterly basis through Financial Commissioner (Revenue), J&K for placement before the SEC,” the order said.
The revised SOPs state that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), J&K, shall convene meetings with divisional administration and the Deputy Commissioners at least once in three months to review the progress and also assess the preparedness of the district authorities and line departments to meet any eventuality/disaster.
Deputy Commissioners shall ensure disbursement of funds, to the eligible beneficiaries or against the verified claims through DBT/BEAMS mode.
Further, the utilization certificate and calamity-wise statement of expenditure shall be furnished by the Deputy Commissioners through Financial Commissioner (Revenue), J&K on the prescribed format with the requisite certificates.
Moreover, Financial Commissioner (Revenue), J&K shall also submit an interim un-audited financial report (IUFR) along with consolidated statement of expenditure (SOE) for each category of notified calamity under SDRF guidelines on the quarterly basis for placement before the SEC.
The GAD order said, “Department of DMRRR shall constitute teams in consultation with Finance Department for annual inspections and audit in respect of districts/departments.”
While as, Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRRR) shall provide clarifications as may be required on the implementation of the SOPs.