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Donations towards Kerala floods to get tax benefits


New Delhi, Aug 22: All donations to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund and the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund are tax-free, while contributions to NGOs meant for Kerala flood victims will get 50 percent income tax rebate.

Heavy rains have wreaked havoc in Kerala

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) accepts voluntary contributions from individuals, organisations and trusts. All contributions towards this fund are exempt from income tax under section 80(G).

"For non-governmental organisations (NGOs), it depends if they have exemption under the Income Tax Act. If so, 80G allows 50 per cent rebate," he told PTI here.

An official said donations to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund have also been exempted from income tax. In order to facilitate speedy issue of 80(G) Income Tax receipts, donors should provide the transaction details of donations deposited directly in any of the PMNRF collection banks along with the address of the donor through e-mail at pmnrf@gov.in.

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A government official said private donations from abroad to Kerala flood victims have no restrictions if they follow certain rules and routes, even though India as a policy does not accept any donation from foreign governments for disaster victims. He said individuals and private entities can contribute for the Kerala flood victims subject to certain conditions. There is also no ban on foreign contributions to FCRA-registered NGOs, which are working among the flood victims in Kerala.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has offered USD 100 million (about Rs 700 crore) aid to the rain-ravaged state, but the Indian government is unlikely to accept it. The Kerala government had sought an immediate relief of Rs 2,000 crore to take up relief works. The Centre had yesterday released Rs 600 crore assistance to the state.

The Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) had received donations to the tune of Rs 309 crore till last evening through online and deposits in the special SBI account. The state, which suffered an estimated loss of Rs 20,000 crore in the deluge, has sought from the Centre a relief package of Rs 2,600 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the centrally-sponsored programmes.

According to the Disaster Management State Control room, 231 people have lost their lives and 32 are missing in flood-related incidents since August 8. Nearly 14.50 lakh people belonging to 3.91 lakh families are still lodged in 3,879 relief camps across the state. This year's flood in Kerala has been termed as the worst since 1924.


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