The Meghalaya government has spent over Rs 399 crore in fighting against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during the past seven months, according to the Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister.
“From March till end of September this year, the total expenditure needed to meet the different requirements in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic comes to Rs 399 crore,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters on Tuesday.
Giving a break up of the expenses, he said Rs 188.9 crore was spent under the National Health Mission (NHM) head for setting up of corona care centres, purchase of PPEs, ambulances and surveilances while Rs 82.4 crores under Directorate of Health Services (DHS) for procurement of machines, oxygen cylinders, BP monitor, digital body thermometers, ventilators, surgical gloves, thermal scanners etc.
He said Rs 14.7 crores was spent for transportation of stranded citizens and providing relief payment and provision kits under the Chief Minister’s Special Grant (CMSG), Rs 7.4 crore for procurement of ambulances, biomedical waste vans, and community quarantine centres under Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), Rs 51 crores for providing relief to over 2 lakh people including organized workers under the Chief Minister’s Relief against Wage Loss (CMRAWL), Rs 15 crore for advance stanction of Rs 25 lakh to each of the 60 MLAs for financial assistance in their respective constituencies under the SRWP or MLA scheme, Rs 3.5 crore from the PM Cares for providing fooding and accommodation to migrant labourers, Rs 8.9 crore from District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for setting up relief camps and screening points, Rs 23.7 crore from State Disaster Resources Fund (SDRF) for creation of additional testing laboratories, purchase of testing kits, PPEs, thermal scanners and setting up of containment zones in the entire state and Rs 3.5 crore for conducting sanitization works by the urban affairs department.
According to Tynsong, Rs 48 crores of the total expenditure was received as assistance from the government of India.
The deputy chief minister informed that the state government has so far cleared bills of Rs 251 crores out of 399 crores under the different heads which include Rs 92.7 crore under NHM, Rs 42.4 crore DHS, Rs 6.4 crore CMSG, Rs 7.4 crore CMRF, Rs 51 crore CMRAWL, Rs 15 crore MLA scheme, Rs 3.5 crore PM Cares, Rs 8.9 crore DMF and Rs 23.7 crore SDRF.
“… all these heads will be subjected to auditing and will be reflected in the annual report of the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) next year,” he said.
On the other hand, Tynsong also admitted that the state’s financial position is not conducive. “It is not that good. Therefore, the Chief Minister and I will go to Delhi as the Centre has a special financial package for the state,” he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister however said, apart from the entitlement given by the Central government, the state is trying to increase its own revenue generation by opening up wine stores and other economic activities adding more relaxation will also be considered later.