Rs 139 Cr spent to fight COVID-19: Rio

Our Correspondent
Kohima | August 13

Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio today informed that the Rs 139 crore has been spent for medical and non medical intervention in efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Of this, Rs 112 crore was spent from the State Government’s own sources. The amount included around Rs 3.35 crore from Chief Minister Relief Fund, he added. 

Making a statement on the COVID- 19 pandemic situation in the state at the NLA, the CM said that despite being a revenue deficit State without enough resources, the State Government has taken all possible steps to combat COVID-19. 

Further elaborating on the expenditure incurred so far, the Chief Minister informed that more than Rs 62 crore was 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. 

Central funds
Meanwhile, in a written reply to an unstarred question by MLA Chotisuh Sazo, Rio stated that Rs. 7.42 crore was received from Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He added that an amount of Rs. 3 crore was received from North Eastern Council, which has been directly credited to the Medical Department’s account.

The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority has also been sanctioned Rs. 45.56 crore by the Government of India under SDRF 2020-21. Out of this, 35% can be used for the COVID-19 pandemic which amounts to Rs. 15.94 crore.

The first installment of Rs. 22.78 crore has been received from the Centre and out of the 1st installment, Rs. 15.94 crore has been spent on COVID-19 pandemic related activities.

Fund received from the National Disaster Response Fund stands as Rs. 130.73 crore for 2018-19 and Rs. 176.52 crore for 2019-20.

The CM also informed that under the NHM, the State received Rs 371 lakhs each for the periods 2019-20 and 2020-21. Meanwhile, the State share against 2019-20 was Rs. 41.22 lakh, making a total (including the state’s share) of Rs. 783.22 lakh. The total expenditure till July 27, 2020 was Rs. 344.90 lakh, with a balance of Rs. 438.32 lakh. 

 Rs 6.89 cr collected from COVID cess 
On being asked about the total amount drawn against COVID cess till July 2020, Rio stated that the amount collected till June stands Rs. 6.89 crore. The admitted Cess for the month of July 2020 shall be payable by August 21 only, Rio stated.

The CM meanwhile added that the cess collected is deposited into the consolidated fund of the State and the amount will defray the expenditure on COVID- 19 which was not budgeted for.

The total additional fund spent for fighting the pandemic is Rs. 53.41 crore till date, Rio stated.