Govt not for separate fund for flood relief

Says IT exemption for new account may take time

Published - August 31, 2018 07:41 pm IST - KOCHI

The State government has expressed its difficulty in opening a separate fund distinct from the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) for flood relief and rehabilitation operations.

The State government made its position known before the Kerala High Court on Friday on a writ petition seeking to issue directions to the State government to maintain a special account for mobilising the aid for flood relief works.

The Income Tax exemption under Section 80 G of the Income Tax Act will be available only for donations made to the CMDRF. If a new fund was opened, the inclusion of that fund for income tax exemption may take time and it may discourage people from making donations, the State government submitted.

The donations credited to the CMDRF from August 9 are exclusively used for relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims. The same procedure would be followed until the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction is completed. Separate accounts were maintained and periodic auditing was conducted for the funds, the government clarified.

The State government further stated that ‘‘every donation received at the CMDRF and any amount expended from the fund are easily accessible to any member of the public, thereby ensuring total transparency.’’

The court will consider the petition on September 19.

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