‘Sensitive support’ given to COVID victims: Sangma

‘Sensitive support’  given to COVID victims: Sangma
Conrad Sangma
Correspondent Shillong, Nov 10 | Publish Date: 11/10/2020 12:59:47 PM IST

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday said that the State government has been responsible and providing “sensitive support” to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, even as he pointed out that the State was the only one in the country to provide large numbers of provision kits to families who had been in quarantine.

However, Congress legislator Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang, demanded a special audit be conducted to check ‘unwanted COVID expenditure.’

 Divulging a detailed account of the fund amounting to Rs 399 crore for dealing with the pandemic in the State in the assembly on the third day of the ongoing autumn session, Sangma informed the house that Rs 251 crore has been already spent, including clearing of bills of various suppliers, adding that the remaining amount will also be subsequently spent with due diligence.

The ASHA workers, who are 6894 in number in the State have been receiving Rs 1000 rupees over and above their regular emoluments, the Chief Minister informed the House.

The Chief Minister also informed that of the Rs 10.35 crore in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Rs 7.36 crore has been so far spent for procuring eco-ambulances and under other heads of expenditure.

The fund now has approximately 2.64 crore rupees left, he said, even as he laid papers detailing the expenditure on the table of the house. Replying to a short-duration discussion in this regard initiated by members from the Opposition bench, Sangma said that the government was faced with an unprecedented situation and had to take decisions primarily to save the lives of the people.

He asserted that all procedures were followed in spending the money, including sanitization of several buildings, procurement of ambulances and other medical equipment.

Sangma said that the state government had also allotted additional Rs 25 lakh to each of the MLAs for handling the Covid-19 situation in their respective constituencies.

The expenditure by the Health Department, including Directorate of Health Services and National Health Mission, was Rs 271.2 crores, he said, adding that the Revenue and Disaster Management (SDRF) spent Rs 23.7 crores, Revenue and Disaster Management (PM CARES) spent Rs 3.5 crores, while Rs 7.4 crores was spent by the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Rs 14.7 crores spent by Chief Minister’s Special Grant, the Labour Department spent Rs 51 crores, Mining & Geology Department (DMF) spent Rs 8.9 crores, Community & Rural Development and Urban Affairs (SRWP & SUWP) spent Rs 15.1 crores and Urban Affairs spent Rs 3.5 crores.

He added that Rs 103.8 crores was funded by tapping into various sources in addition with the state government’s own sources.

 “We did not spare any effort and left no stone unturned in dealing with the pandemic, which is still ongoing,” he said, even as he listed out several measures that the state extended to workers in both the organized and unorganized sectors during the lockdown period. The Chief Minister reiterated that the expenditures were “made carefully”, even as the government has been dealing with “almost a war-like situation”.

Sangma put on record his appreciation for the frontline workers, who, along with others have been assisting the government to contain the COVID-19 situation in the State to a large extent.

He said that the opposition members had also appreciated and showed satisfaction in the way the State government had handled the crisis



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