Kohima: As per the finance department, Nagaland has so far spent Rs 38 crore in the preparedness to battle the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Following the pandemic, the state’s own revenue was projected at Rs 98.03 crore but in April it recorded Rs 21 crore — a difference of Rs 77 crore.
With false speculations doing the rounds on social media regarding the “alleged huge amount” of grants released by the Centre to the state government for COVID-19 related activities, additional chief secretary and finance commissioner Sentiyanger Imchen told media persons on Friday evening that the amount of Rs 346 crore, which was claimed to have been released for COVID-19 related activities is actually the amount released by the Central government as Revenue Deficit Grant.
Imchen said that Rs 20.50 crore was received as first installment for the state disaster relief fund which was recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. “A maximum of up to 35% of this release can be used for COVID-19 related activities,” he said.
He added that the state government is utilising its own resources for the COVID-19 related activities, although it was not budgeted in the assembly. He reiterated that this has further added to the deficit.
The state government also received a sanction of Rs 3 crore from the North Eastern Council (NEC) and Rs 7.42 from the government of India, both of which were sanctioned for the state’s health department about two weeks ago. Imchen said that the sanctioned amount is yet to be given to the Health department.
Meanwhile, as on Friday, 13,962 people, including 10,298 working people, 3,510 students and 154 patients who are stranded or are in distress outside the state due to the Nationwide COVID-19 lockdown have been assisted with cash relief. The total amount disbursed is Rs 5.48 crore, informed Abhijit Sinha, principal secretary home.