To stabilize the fiscal situation in the state, the Meghalaya government has decided to impose a partial deferment of the payment of the state government employees and government-aided institutions for the month of April and May.
“At a time when the revenues for the State and devolution from the Centre are falling, the expenditure due to COVID-19 has increased, as already explained, by Rs. 115 Crore. More expenditure on health infrastructure, quarantine facilities, and relief measures will have to be borne in the coming months. Further, given the uncertainty around COVID-19, the Government is being prudent in managing its finances, as committed expenditures including on salaries, pensions, and interest payments will have to be incurred,” a press communique stated.
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With prioritizing the improvement of the health infrastructure in the state following the COVID-19 outbreak, Meghalaya had sanctioned an amount of Rs 57.98 crore to the Health and Family Welfare Department for combating the virus. Of the total amount, Rs 45.85 is from the State’s resources, and Rs 12.13 crore is Central Resources, sources said.
“The Government has put in place a three-pronged strategy to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are prioritizing the improvement of health infrastructure, increasing the use of technology, and building the capacity of communities to deal with the situation. Strengthening the health infrastructure is the core first priority of our strategy. To ensure this, a number of investments were made in the health sector over the last two months,” the communique stated.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented economic and social disruption impacting the health, livelihoods, and overall well-being of individuals and communities across the globe. The Government of India and the State Government have taken a number of steps towards containing the spread of COVID-19 since mid-March.
The government has credited an amount of Rs 3,000 credited to the bank accounts of 24,516 numbers of registered building and construction workers. Further, an amount of Rs 2,100 is being credited to the bank accounts of 1,81,491 unregistered workers under the Chief Minister's Relief Against Wage Loss Scheme. The Government is spending Rs 38.11 Crore on this measure.
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To provide relief to stranded citizens, an amount of Rs 3,000 has been credited to the bank accounts of 9,224 individuals costing Rs 2.77 Crore. Additionally, provision Kits providing 2-weeks rations and other essentials to individuals and households under quarantine have been supplied to about 10,000 households in the State costing approximately Rs 2 Crore. An amount of Rs. 26.38 Crore has been provided to the Food and Civil Supplies Department for procurement and supply of 58,639 quintals of food grains under the open market sale scheme. Therefore, a total of Rs. 69.25 Cr is being spent from the State resources under various relief measures related to COVID-19. Combined with the Rs 45.85 crore spent on health expenditure, the total expenditure made by the State due to COVID-19 comes to Rs 115.10 Crore.
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