Nearly 80% of expenditure from State’s own sources, says Rio
Morung Express News
Kohima | August 13
The total expenditure incurred so far on both medical and non-medical interventions during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Nagaland has been around Rs 139 crore, the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio told the State Assembly on Thursday.
Out of this, the State Government from its own sources has spent about 112 crore (over 80%), Rio said, making a statement on COVID- 19 pandemic situation duirng the 6th session of 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on August 13.
The amount included around Rs 3.35 crore from Chief Minister Relief Fund, he added.
The one-day session of the 13th NLA was held amid boycott by the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Thursday.
Updating the members present regarding the various activities being undertaken by the State Government to combat the pandemic, Rio said that the government is doing everything possible despite resource crunch.
“We are a revenue deficit State. We do not enough resources. But this has not stopped us from doing whatever we could do for taking all possible steps to combat COVID-19 and to keep our people safe,” he asserted.
Further elaborating on the expenditure incurred so far, the Chief Minister informed that more than 62 crore were spent on improving medical infrastructure and putting in place systems, equipments and workforce for “winning the battle against the pandemic.”
For such purposes, the assistance from the Government of India (GoI) and other sources was only about Rs 10 crore, he maintained.
“The remaining about Rs 52 crore is all from the State's own resources,” Rio added.
In this connection, he claimed that the State Government had taken several measures to mobilise additional revenue though “getting resources has been tough given our overall constraints and reduction in the revenues due to pandemic and lockdown.”
The measures included cutting down non-essential expenditure by 15% and mobilising “additional revenue by levying COVID cess @Rs 5 and Rs 6 per litre on diesel and petrol,” he said.
“But we have done all this in the best interest of our people,” he added.
Meanwhile, the non-medical interventions were in the forms of relief to stranded people, distribution of food and dry rations to migrants, needy people; preparation of quarantine centres and the entire quarantine arrangements, transport arrangements for bringing our people back, IEC activities etc., he said.
The total expenditure for these activities now stands at now at around Rs 74 crore, the Chief Minister maintained.
For this, Nagaland got only about 14 crore as assistance from GoI, and the rest – around 60 crore were borne by the State Government, he added.
Meanwhile, Rio "reassured" the people that the State Government "is doing all it can to prevent and control the CoVID 19 Pandemic and so far we have succeeded to a great extent barring a few unfortunate incidents."
"I am sure, with the support of the people as Team Nagaland, we will over come this crisis in the weeks and months to come," he added.