Reacting to allegation by Akali Dal that the state had not spent money collected under CM’s Relief Fund to combat Covid-19, CM Amarinder Singh Friday said that the source of financing Covid related expenditures was totally irrelevant. He added that Rs 64 crore in the fund was a miniscule amount compared to over Rs 300 crore already spent by his government on providing Covid care. The CM said that the fund had been set aside by his government for emergency purposes, to be used as and when needed.
Ridiculing the SAD for criticising the state government for spending only Rs 2.28 crore from the amount accumulated in the CM’s Relief Fund for Covid support, Amarinder said the thing was that despite total absence of financial support forthcoming from the central government, of which SAD is a part, his government had not allowed fiscal crunch to come in the way of Covid management.
“If the Akalis were at all concerned about Covid care in the state, they should ask the Centre why they had failed to support the Punjab government in this critical time,” said the Chief Minister.
The money being contributed by concerned citizens to the CM Relief Fund was an emergency fund that the state government had set aside to meet exigent urgent needs as and when required, when there is no immediate alternate resource available to it, he added.
The CM said that so far the Health Department alone had spent nearly Rs 150 crore on Covid care essentials like VTM kits, PPE and N95, triple layer masks, drugs, consumable, oxygen cylinders, ambulances, among other things. In addition, the state government had spent
Rs 29.5 crore on enabling 5.20 lakh migrant workers to go back to their home states via 398 Shramik Special Trains, said the Chief Minister.
Besides, crores had been spent on food and essential supplies to the poor and marginalised people across the state, he added.
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