FACT CHECK

How the Standard Defence Accounting Exercise was Painted as a Bill to Kerala Government

Kerala Govt Airlifting Bill

The True Picture had busted many fake narratives on Kerala Floods in a series of articles. Recently, NDTV came out with a news titled, Kerala Government Gets a Huge Bill For Flood Relief and Airlifting Operations, which was also shared from NDTV Twitter handle.

The headline of the above story to an average reader may give an impression that the Modi Government has sent a bill to the Kerala state government for airlifting operations carried out during Kerala floods. It was mentioned in the story that the Controller of Defence Accounts had sent a bill with an amount of Rs 33 crore which also includes the charges pertaining to airlifting services offered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) during Kerala floods operations in the year 2018.

However, there is a need to take a closer look at the story and understand all the facts in the right context. Important points are presented below:

  • The Controller of Defence Accounts has followed the protocols and rules according to the official Handbook on Defence Services Receipts & Charges. This handbook was published in the year 2007 and updated in 2014.
  • The ruling of this handbook on the recovery of the cost of airlifting operation by IAF is attached below:

  • It is clear from the above that Controller of Defence Accounts is mandated by the rules to recover the cost of airlifting as a standard accounting exercise. Therefore, there is no role of central government in this. It is a standard protocol of Defence accounting which is being followed uniformly in the entire country.
  • Most importantly, Controller of Defence Accounts charges similarly to other ministries of the central government or other state governments also for such operations. Therefore, Kerala is not being singled out in this case.

Thus, there was a clear attempt to spread a misleading narrative against the Modi Government. The above story had also quoted Chief Minister of Kerala saying that they have received only Rs 600 crore as assistance from the central government and all their other demands have not yet been considered by the centre.

However, the truth is otherwise! Modi Government has already approved an assistance of Rs 2500 crore as additional relief for the victims of Kerala floods which devastated the state.