There has been an “excessive” misappropriation of central funds to fight Covid-19 in Meghalaya.
This was stated by RTI activist, Disparsing Rani after receiving information he sought from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the funds allotted to the State to fight the pandemic.
According to Rani, the central government had released an amount of Rs 119 crore for COVID 19.
“The central release of grants- in- aid through agency NHM for the Covid-19 activities under India COVID 19 emergency response and health systems preparedness package Phase I and II in Meghalaya was Rs 119 crore,” he said.
Rani recalled that during the Assembly session on September 14, 2022, Health Minister James PK Sangma had stated that the government had spent Rs 816, 22, 52,312 on fighting Covid-19 and that the centre had borne Rs 76, 56, 18,000 while the State spent Rs 739, 66, 34,312.
“If the state government is saying Rs 76, 56, 18,000 was borne by the Centre, but the RTI shows that the central government has released an amount of Rs 119 crore, it means that Rs 43 crore has been siphoned off,” he stated.
“The RTI reports therefore revealed that siphoning off funds for the Covid-19 activities in Meghalaya was excessive,” he said, adding that it is “unimaginable” to see that the State government spent a huge amount, when Manipur with more than 1.40 lakh people who contracted the virus with around 2149 deaths has spent only Rs 78 crore.
The RTI further stated that he failed to receive information on the status of payment of Rs 50,000 each to next of kin of those Covid-19 deceased person but said that as per the information he received there were 1642 deaths in the state and 96,785 persons were infected.
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