The Assam government on Tuesday
said it has spent more than Rs 730 crore for various expenses related to management of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Out of the total Rs 730.72 crore spent, Rs 579.9 crore was released by the state health and family welfare department and National Health Mission (NHM), while the remaining Rs 150.81 crore was spent by the revenue and disaster management department, Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
In a written reply to a query by Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi, Sarma said "COVID-19 pandemic is still continuing in the state. Audited statements from different districts are yet to be received. As such it is not possible to provide the actual expenditure."
Giving details of the expenditure of Rs 579.9 crore, the minister clarified that this figure reflects partial spending which has been compiled as of now.
"So far, the Government of Assam and NHM has released Rs 579,90,31,071.30 for various expenses related to COVID-19. However, actual expenses and expenses to be incurred in the coming months ... can be finalised only after final audited statement is available," he added.
Sarma informed the House that the government has spent Rs 199.72 crore on infrastructure, Rs 3.86 crore WAS GIVEN to medical colleges, Rs 52.95 crore for testing, Rs 75.82 crore for medicines, Rs 37.69 crore for medical equipment, Rs 42.89 crore on transportation and Rs 3.41 crore on awareness campaigns.
Besides, the health and family welfare department and the National Health Mission also released Rs 1.07 crore for additional manpower, Rs 1.6 crore for administrative expenses and Rs 160.88 crore for financial assistance to those stranded outside the state, he added.
Along with these amounts, the revenue and disaster management department has released Rs 150.81 crore so far as immediate assistance for repairing the quarantine centres, Sarma said in a written reply to a separate query by Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed.
About assistance from the Centre, the Minister said the state's health and family welfare department and the National Health Mission have received a total of Rs 196.82 crore from the union government under three different heads.
"In addition, Rs 50,00,000 as insurance support has been released under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package to the family of one deceased COVID warrior already and four more are under active consideration," he added.
Sarma also informed tha House that a total of Rs 116.1 crore has been received as contributions from 53,534 people in the account of the Asom Arogya Nidhi till August 15 to support the government's efforts in handling the pandemic.
"Not a single penny of this amount has been used so far. We formed an advisory committee to better utilise this money received from the public. It has suggested we spend the money on COVID-19 vaccine and for medical research. We are considering the proposals," he added.
Sarma also said that donations were received by the Chief Minister's Relief Fund also, but as the amounts for different calamities are not recorded separately it is not possible to tell the exact amount of contributions for COVID- 19.
On August 29, Sarma had announced that the state will withdraw a host of freebies given to COVID-19 patients as it is facing financial stress due to huge expenditures in handling the pandemic.
The state's COVID-19 caseload was 1,09,040 on Monday with 306 deaths.
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