Govt proposes cess to fund disaster management | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Govt proposes cess to fund disaster management

The cash-strapped state government will soon recover from you a cess on professional tax to raise funds for disaster management.

mumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2010 01:41 IST
Dharmendra Jore

You will soon be partially funding the state’s disaster management machinery.

The cash-strapped state government will soon recover from you a cess on professional tax to raise funds for disaster management.

The government has suggested this in an amendment to the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The amendment, introduced in the legislature on Friday, will come up for approval in the ongoing budget session.

The new law, if approved, will be called the Disaster Management (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2010.

The amendment, suggested by a select-panel of all-party legislators, says the government may prescribe the rate of cess and announce it in the official gazette.

Chairman of the panel and Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, Devendra Fadnavis, justified the cess on professional tax. “We are a developing economy and it will be difficult for any state to raise massive funds. So, we suggested that people should also contribute, in a small way to the fund that will have major contribution from the government,” Fadnavis said.

Fadnavis said the money raised from the cess will help procure early warning technology satellites and save a large amount to distribute as compensation to victims of disasters.

The new Bill also has a provision to introduce disaster management as a subject in schools so awareness regarding the issue comes at young age. The Bill also demands that district-level disaster management committees be empowered to ensure effective implementation.

The Indian Administrative Service officer of the highest rank in every district will head the committee, which will have to send reports to the state-level panel at regular intervals.

The Bill also states the state should observe a ‘Disaster Mitigation and Management Day’ every year.