PM Relief Fund to be Gujarat model in selection of beneficiaries
NEW DELHI: Major changes are in the offing in the way
the PM’s National Relief Fund is managed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
Saturday directed that the Gujarat model should be emulated in selection of
beneficiaries, giving priority to the poor and children.
Modi reviewed the functioning of the Relief Fund
(PMNRF) and suggested several qualitative changes in the way the fund is
managed, a PMO statement said.
Referring to the Gujarat model, he directed that the
selection of beneficiaries should be done in a more comprehensive, scientific
and humanitarian basis, giving priority to children, poor and cases from
government hospitals, the statement said.
Cases involving life-threatening diseases should be
accorded priority and applications should be decided on need and merit, the
Prime Minister added.
He also directed that pendency in appeals for help
should be minimised and the draw to select the cases should be conducted in a
manner that does not leave out any genuine case. It was decided that a letter
from the Prime Minister should be sent to all beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries whose appeals have been approved for
grant of relief will be informed through an SMS alert, it said. The PM National
Relief Fund was established in 1948 with public contributions to assist
displaced persons from Pakistan.
The resources of the PMNRF are now utilised primarily
to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities
like floods, cyclones and earthquakes and to the victims of major accidents and
Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered for medical
treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment etc. The
PMNRF fund consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any
The corpus of the fund is invested with banks in fixed
deposits. Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister.
Modi also reviewed the functioning of the other Prime
Minister’s funds - the PM’s discretionary fund, the PM’s National Defence Fund,
the PM’s fund for student’s aid, and the PM’s fund for folk art.
The review meeting was attended by Nripendra Misra,
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, and PK Mishra, Additional Principal
Secretary to the Prime Minister and other senior officials.
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would be issued soon.
Under the project, which was cleared earlier and is
expected to cost over Rs 20,000 crore, the first 16 aircraft would be built at
the facilities of the foreign vendor while the remaining 40 aircraft would be
manufactured in India.
This would be the first time that the private sector
would be allowed to manufacture a complete aircraft without participation of
the public sector HAL, the only aerospace firm in the country.
The meeting also cleared the procurement of five Fast
Patrol Vessels (FPV) and Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) each for the Coast Guard
at the cost of Rs 2,360 crore.
The FPVs and OPVs would be built by the state-owned
GRSE and Goa Shipyards Ltd, respectively, Ministry officials said. A proposal
to procure Search and Rescue (SAR) equipment for the three services at a cost
of Rs 900 crore, too, received the green light.
The last meeting of the DAC was held on February 24
under the then Defence Minister AK Antony. The NDA government under Prime
Minister Narendra Modi is stressing on indigenisation of the military industry
given that India has to import 70 per cent of its defence hardware.
In its first few days in office, the Modi government
has hiked the FDI limit in defence to 49 per cent from the earlier 26 per cent
and significantly pruned the list of defence items whose production requires