The Centre on Monday disbursed Rs 6,195.08 crore to states for bolstering their financial resources meant for containing the coronavirus outbreak and treating affected people. The fund has been released under Disaster Management Relief Fund and revenue deficit grant to financially empower them.
"The government on May 11, 2020 released Rs 6,195.08 crore to 14 states as the second equated monthly installment of the post devolution revenue deficit grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.
The grants would provide states additional resources during the corona crisis, she added.
The government on May 11, 2020 released Rs 6,195.08 crore to 14 states as the second equated monthly installment of the Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. This would provide them additional resources during the Corona crisis. pic.twitter.com/9W9kUorB62- NSitharamanOffice (@nsitharamanoffc) May 11, 2020
This fund is to be utilised for setting up quarantine facilities, sample collection and screening, setting up additional testing laboratories, meeting the cost of consumables, purchase of personal protection equipments (PPEs) for healthcare, municipal, police and fire authorities, and purchase of thermal scanners, ventilators and air purifiers.
Earlier today, in a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief ministers raised concerns over lack of resources at the states' disposal to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier in April, the central government had allotted Rs 17,287 crore to states to enhance their financial resources during the COVID-19 crisis. Of this, Rs 6,195.08 crore was released on account of 'revenue deficit grant' under 15th Finance Commission recommendations to 14 states. The states that were assigned revenue deficit grant include Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Punjab.
The remaining Rs 11,092 crore was for all states as an advance payment of the Centre's share of the first instalment of State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) for setting up quarantine facilities and arranging other facilities for checking the spread of coronavirus.
By Chitranjan Kumar