Odisha Gets berth In GoM

With this Eastern State is facing major natural calamities, Odisha has been taken in the Group of Ministers (GoM) for Revenue Mobilization for Natural calamities and Disasters.

Union Government has formed a GoM on Revenue Mobilization and accordingly Minister Finance Sashi Bhusan Behera has been taken as a Member of GoM, who is also in the Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC).

While Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi is the Convener of the GoM, Mr.Behera has been taken in the High Power Committee to examine modalities for Revenue Mobilization in case of Natural Calamities and Disasters, which is frequenting this Eastern State on regular basis.

Other Members are Finance Ministers of Assam, Kerala, Maharashtra Punjab and Uttarakhand, officials say.

Odisha has all along been demanding more funds for State Disaster Response Fund and increasing share of Government of India as the state is incurring huge loss due to Natural Calamities.

In fact the State Government has raised the issue in highest forum to change the pattern of funding for SDRF.

Now it is 75:25 between Centre and State, which is needed to be made 90:10, so that the State will bear less burden as it is facing huge losses due to Natural calamities.

According to sources Centre funds Rs.618 Crore annually and State bears Rs.206 Crore as its share in SDRF due to 75:25 sharing pattern.

Once it will be made 90:10, then the Centre will provide Rs.742 Crore and State will bear Rs.82 Crore, which will lessen its burden.

Now with GoM is set up to find out whether the mechanism for funding to the States through National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) is sufficient or not for handling Natural Calamities.

According to Term of Reference (ToR) for the GoM on Revenue Mobilization, it will look into providing supplementary mechanism for funding Natural calamities through GST.

The circumstances in which as State shall become entitled to get funding over and above the funds obtained through NDRF Mechanism will be looked into by GoM.

GoM will also look into the issue, whether it is permissible to create an Omnibus GST Disaster Relief Fund for Natural calamities or whether resources can be raised only for a specific event qualifying as Natural Calamity or Disasters.

GoM will also look into how funds will be collected and disbursed for GST Disaster Relief Fund.
GoM will submit its Report by 31 October to the GST Council, which will be discussed at length before taking a final decision in this regard, said sources.

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