Covid fund of Rs 43 crore misunderstood as missing not spent: Minister

Shillong, March 27: Health and Family Welfare minister Ampareen Lyngdoh claimed on Monday that the Covid fund of Rs 43 crore which has been ‘misunderstood’ as missing has not been spent and this will be released.

The release of the amount will be based on the physical progress of the sanctioned works, Ampareen informed the Assembly in reply to a zero hour notice by VPP MLA  Adelbert Nongrum (North Shillong).


Adelbert raised the issue based on the reply to the RTI query by Disparsing Rani who alleged misappropriation of Rs 43 crore sanctioned for tackling the Covid pandemic in the state.

According to Ampareen, during the Covid pandemic period, Union of India through Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had come up with Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP) to support the efforts of the state towards fighting Covid.

The package was accorded to Meghalaya in two phases viz ECRP Phase I and ECRP Phase II. This was funded through the National Health Mission.

Ampareen said that ECRO Phase-I is 100% Centrally funded whereas ECRP-II encapsulates a 90:10 funding pattern between central and state government respectively. ECRP-I was for 2020-21 and ECRP-II was during 2021-22.

The minister clarified that the question asked in the Assembly last time i,e Autumn Session of 2022 was the total amount spent from central and state respectively. Thus, the answer that was given mentioned Rs 76.56 crore in the Assembly.

Ampareen said the RTI query filed to Union Ministry was for amount sanctioned for which the reply given as on January 20, 2023 as Rs 104.12 crore .

“I would like to mention that the amount mentioned in the RTI is correct but, however, the reply given during the then autumn session was about the money that was spent already,” Ampareen said.

She said various works sanctioned under ECRP-II are long term works, the works of which are going on. Moreover, the sanction for one major component of the package i.e Critical Care Block amounting to Rs 21.38 crore was given much later than that of the other components. The work has just begun for that and no financial progress has been made so far.

“Therefore, the amount that has been misunderstood as missing has not been spent and shall be released based on the physical progress of the sanctiioned works”, she added.

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