A+| A| A-

The Long Haul

Why is it that it is only when disasters occur that we wake up to the need for a disaster management plan? Not that disaster management is a totally forgotten issue, but it is only after disasters that attention turns to the problems which they give rise to, namely, of rescue, relief and rehabilitation. Even then the focus of attention is the additional expenditure involved and how such expenditure is to be financed by the state governments whose constitutional obligation it is to deal with natural calamities. It is significant that practically all the finance commissions, except the very first one, were asked in their terms of reference to review issues in coping with natural calamities insofar as the states concerned have to incur additional expenditure and that too within a relatively short span of time. The Sixth Finance Commission, for instance, was specifically asked to review the policy and arrangements in regard to the financing of relief expenditure by the states. The commission, while recommending the continuation of existing arrangements under which in the assessment of the revenue needs of every state a margin was provided “for meeting the expenditure…on natural calamities”, had called for “systematic development of the drought- and flood-prone areas through a Plan programme”.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Using ordinance to protect freedom of expression from foul speech may result in damaging decent communication.

Only an empowered regulator can help boost production and cut coal imports.

Biden’s policy of the “return to the normal” would be inadequate to decisively defeat Trumpism.

*/ */

Only a generous award by the Fifteenth Finance Commission can restore fiscal balance.

*/ */

The assessment of the new military alliance should be informed by its implications for Indian armed forces.

The fiscal stimulus is too little to have any major impact on the economy.

The new alliance is reconfigured around the prospect of democratic politics, but its realisation may face challenges.

A damning critique does not allow India to remain self-complacent on the economic and health fronts.


The dignity of public institutions depends on the practice of constitutional ideals.

The NDA government’s record in controlling hunger is dismal despite rising stocks of cereal.


Back to Top