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Politics
PM Relief Fund to be Gujarat model in selection of beneficiaries
20-07-2014

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 riots.

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 budgetary support.

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.

d, a � gtp3  render 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 manufacturing licenses.