"Prime Minister is the Chairman of NMDA. The whole body is there. NMDA is functional. It is effectively working," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.
His reply came following Anand Sharma (Cong) pointed out that though three major natural calamities have struck, NMDA seemed to be not working as the post of many members, including Vice Chairman's position, have remained vacant.
Chairman Hamid Ansari cut short the verbal exchanges between the treasury bench and the Opposition saying the question pertained to a different issue (survey of devastation due to Hudhud in Andhra Pradesh).
However, pointing out the answer given to the question, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) asked if the Centre has released Rs 400 crore through National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and Rs 115.42 crore from SDRF, then was the Prime Minister's announcement of a Rs 1,000 crore package to the coastal state meant for publicity?
Members from other parties also spoke leading to uproar. As the Opposition was not happy with Rijiju's answer, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stood up and said, as a practice, the promises for such packages are given through a scheme.
After cyclone Hudhud hit the Andhra coasts, Modi visited the state and announced an interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for Andhra Pradesh. Rijiju said the remaining fund would
be released soon.
As per existing framework, the state government concerned is required to undertake necessary relief measures in case of natural disasters through the funds readily available in the corpus of State Disaster Response Fund. In case of a disaster of severe nature, additional assistance is extended from the NDRF after following the laid down procedure.