The government has nothing to hide when it comes to the estimated Rs 399 crore incurred in the fight against Covid-19 and its deleterious effects on the economy, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said today.
“My conscience is clear that we have given the best to our citizens. We have paid our daily wage labourers around Rs 50 crore and spent Rs 30 crore for Covid-19 testing,” Sangma told reporters after a cabinet meeting here today.
The Rs 399 crore Covid bill, elaborated on by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong last week, has covered medical equipment, testing, financial aids given to labourers and stranded citizens and other expenses.
Civil society group Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR) has filed a series of Right to Information (RTI) requests seeking a more detailed breakup of the expenses in the interests of transparency and accountability. A viral social media post also contrasts Meghalaya’s Rs 399 crore bill with the Rs 60 crore that Manipur reportedly spent fighting the pandemic.
Sangma said today that his government has done all it could with the limited resources at its disposal when the coronavirus situation in the state was war-like.
Those in quarantine were given good quality food and personal protective equipment (PPE) were procured by the government even though there was a shortage in the market, he said, adding that the government had bought enough PPE to last until March 2021.
In the age of the RTI, there was nothing to hide, the CM stated.