CM lists COVID spend

State govt spent almost Rs650 crore in less than two years, Assembly told

SHILLONG, Sep 14: Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Tuesday said the COVID-19 situation cost the state government almost Rs650 crore in less than two years.
“A total of Rs389.7 crore was spent on COVID-19 in 2020-2021. This year, we have already spent Rs260.62 crore. We have spent Rs649 crore in the last two years,” Sangma told the Assembly while replying to the cut motion on the supplementary demand moved by the Opposition MLAs on the third day of the autumn session.
According to him, the state government will require an additional Rs221 crore in order to meet the liabilities.
Sangma informed the House that the state government gave provision hits to returnees from other parts of the country and COVID-19 positive households under the Chief Minister’s Special Grant (CMSG).
The rate of provisions for the East Khasi Hills district was fixed at Rs 1,402 for urban areas and Rs1,452 for rural areas. The approved rate for the East Garo Hills district was Rs1,500 per package, he said.
“During 2021-21, an amount of Rs3.13 crore was paid towards the cost of provision kits through the respective deputy commissioners,” the Chief Minister said.
He further said the government partnered with Avenues for tele calling services and follow-up with returnees, and contact-tracing of high/low-risk contacts.
“₹1.91 lakh was spent for the purpose from CMSG,” Sangma said.
The Chief Minister said the state government paid Rs10.46 crore towards requisitioning of the hotels under the CMSG for the medical and healthcare workers since most of them do not have adequate space at their residence for isolation after returning from COVID-19 duties.
He also said the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the lives of everyone across the globe and that the scale of fatality during the second wave was so severe that many precious lives were lost.
“In order to assist the next of kin of the patients who succumbed to death due to COVID-19, the government of Meghalaya announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs50,000 to the next of kin of the deceased under the CMRG with effect from April 1, 2021,” Sangma said.
He said 1,258 people died due to COVID-19 from April 1 to September 13 this year. An ex-gratia payment of Rs50,000 was made to the next of kin of 514 of the deceased, amounting to Rs2.57 crore.
Sangma said the bank details of the remaining 744 deceased are awaited by the deputy commissioners concerned for disbursing the ex-gratia.
“As such, an anticipated liability of Rs3.72 crore is pending as of September 13. This amount is likely to increase on a daily basis because of deaths,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the state government has sanctioned Rs500 each for 3,900 Community Covid Management Teams in order to supplement their efforts. The total bill for this is Rs1.94 crore.
He said there are 25,771 labourers who are registered under the Meghalaya Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board (MB&OCWWB).
“We have already transferred Rs5000 each to the bank accounts of these 25,771 labourers. A total of Rs12.88 crore has already been transferred,” he said, adding that the government has also decided to provide one-time financial assistance to the daily wagers not registered under the MB&OCWWB.
About 1.80 lakh people have been found eligible for this financial aid of Rs2,100 each, he said.
“So far, we have managed to transfer the money to 1,48,115 beneficiaries amounting to Rs31 crore. We have not been able to transfer the money to 30,000-plus beneficiaries due to technical reasons. We are making efforts to resolve this problem,” Sangma said.

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