Over Rs 300 Crore Spent By Punjab During Coronavirus Pandemic: Chief Minister

The Chief Minister says Punjab has not allowed fiscal crunch to return in approach of Covid administration. (File)

Chandigarh:

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has stated that the Rs 64 crore within the “CM Reduction Fund” being questioned by the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was a minuscule of the over Rs 300 crore already spent by his authorities on offering COVID care and associated bills.

He stated the fund had been put aside by his authorities for emergency functions.

Ridiculing the SAD for criticising the state authorities for spending solely Rs 2.28 crore from the quantity gathered within the CM Reduction Fund for COVID help, Mr Singh, in an announcement, stated the supply of financing COVID-related expenditures was completely irrelevant.

“The vital factor is that regardless of whole absence of economic help forthcoming from the central authorities, of which SAD is a component, the state authorities has not allowed the fiscal crunch to return in the best way of COVID administration,” he stated.

“If the Akalis have been in any respect involved about COVID care within the state, they need to ask the Centre why they’d didn’t help the Punjab authorities on this crucial time,” the chief minister stated.

The cash being contributed by residents to the “CM Reduction Fund” was an emergency fund that the state authorities had put aside to satisfy exigent pressing wants as and when required, when there isn’t any quick alternate useful resource obtainable to it, he added.

Mr Singh stated that given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, it was vital to maintain such emergency funds in readiness to satisfy any eventuality.

“Nonetheless, the Akalis clearly didn’t consider in such emergency preparedness, as was evident from the various situations of mishandling of disaster conditions throughout their 10-year-rule,” he added.

The Rs 64,86,10,456 stability within the CM Reduction Fund was a drop within the ocean in comparison with the crores of rupees already spent by his authorities on infrastructural upgradation, establishing of COVID care centres, roping in extra medical and para-medical employees, buy of PPE kits and different important gear for battling the coronavirus, Mr Singh identified.

“As of date, the Well being Division alone had spent practically Rs 150 crore on COVID care necessities like VTM kits, PPE and N95, triple layer masks, medication, consumable, oxygen cylinders, ambulances, amongst different issues,” he stated.

The state authorities additionally spent Rs 29.5 crore on enabling 5.20 lakh migrant employees to return to their house states by way of 398 Shramik particular trains, the chief minister stated. Crores of rupees have been spent on meals and important provides to the poor and marginalised folks throughout the state, he added.

“As a substitute of losing their time on non-issues and deceptive the folks with their unwarranted and baseless accusations and allegations on this crucial time, the Akalis ought to associate the state authorities in combating the COVID pandemic,” he added.

SAD senior vp and occasion spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema stated the chief minister is “nonetheless hiding the small print concerning the State Catastrophe Reduction Fund which is mendacity undisbursed with the state with an quantity of greater than Rs 6,000 crore”.

The SAD chief stated the chief minister should clarify that why this fund was not utilised to compensate the lack of livelihood to lakhs of individuals from totally different sections of society, together with expert employees, each day wagers, small merchants, rickshaw pullers, taxi drivers, and so on.

The occasion additionally raised questions on spending of Rs 29.5 crore enabling 5.20 lakh migrant labourers to return to their houses and stated that “announcement for this programme was completed by none aside from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and she or he had declared that these bills shall be borne by the Congress occasion”.

“This exhibits that the Congress occasion has befooled the general public through the use of ex-chequer cash whereas befooling the general public,” Daljit Singh Cheema stated in an announcement.

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