The Catholic church in Nagaland donated a sum of Rs 7 lakh Credit: File Image

Kohima: As Nagaland battles against COVID-19, the Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) joined the force by extending monetary assistance to the state government. The church donated Rs 7 lakh to shoulder costs for evacuating stranded persons outside the state.

The Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN), in a letter to the chief minister, expressed how the “enormity” of the state government’s responsibility has “increased much more by the weight of COVID-19 pandemic”.

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The letter, issued by Thomas Magh, general secretary CAN, and Keneingu Albert, adviser CAN, said, “We come forward to remind you that we are with you in our humble prayers, in your resolve in protecting the lives of the citizens of Nagaland from the infection of the pandemic COVID-19”.

In solidarity with the “efforts and goodwill” of the state government, the Catholic Association of Nagaland offered Rs 7 Lakh to “partake in shouldering the transportation cost of passengers stranded in other states being brought home in hired buses”.

Deputy Secretary to the CM, Andrew C Imti, NCS, on behalf of the chief minister’s office, accepted the donation receipt as a contribution from the Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) towards the chief minister’s relief fund for COVID-19.

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Meanwhile, several churches in Nagaland have been extending assistance to the state government in various ways. As reported, the faith harvest church in Kohima also reached out to the medical workers, security personnel and stranded persons who are under facility quarantine and distributed free meals to them. The Lotha Assembly of God (AG) church also provided packed food and water for the stranded persons under quarantine in Kohima. Several other churches, have joined the force in battling COVID-19 pandemic.

The chief secretary of Nagaland Temjen Toy recently informed that from the state’s own resources, around Rs 60 crore has been spent on the health sector. In addition, around Rs 25 crore was used to provide assistance for stranded persons outside the state and migrants. Around Rs 3.5 crore from the chief minister’s relief fund was also spent on assisting stranded persons.

Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nagaland’s economy is projected for an annual cash shortfall of Rs 955.44 crore deficit for 2020-2021 based on April receipts from the central government. However, with a monthly shortfall of Rs 111 crore deficit due to the pandemic, the fiscal deficit is likely to increase by the end of the financial year.

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