Govt has not spent Rs 772.38 cr collected for Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund

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Thiruvananthapuram: Out of the total Rs 4,912.45 crore collected in 2018 and 2019 through schemes like salary challenge for the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief  Fund, Rs 772.38 crore was not spent. According to figures from the CMDRF portal, only Rs 4,140.07 was spent on flood relief.

When the Opposition UDF (United Democratic Front) compared the mass contact program held during its reign with that of the ongoing Nava Kerala Sadas by the LDF (Left Democratic Front), the CPM retorted by arguing that more money was spent by the CMDRF during the LDF Government’s tenure. Despite conducting three mass contact programs, the Oommen Chandy Government had given away only Rs 808.78 crore from the relief fund in five years, while the two Pinarayi governments have spent Rs 7,633 crore in seven-and-a-half years, it claimed.

However, during the tenure of the Pinarayi Government, Rs 5744.89 crore was donated to the CM’s Distress Relief Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic and the floods. Of this, Rs 5081.14 crore was spent on both purposes, according to data on the CMDRF portal. If the CPM’s argument that Rs 7,633 crore was spent in seven-and-a-half years is to be believed, then Rs 2,551.86 crore was given for purposes other than COVID-19 and floods.

According to the CPM, Rs 1917.33 crore was given during the tenure of the second Pinarayi Government. In that case, during the first Pinarayi Government, only Rs 634.53 crore was spent outside Covid and flood relief. Even the state disaster relief fund was transferred to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to spend all the money through the CMDRF during COVID-19 and floods, the data reveals.

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