Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said the COVID19 situation has put a financial burden on the state and the state has spent Rs 200 crore in the last nine months.
“Overall, the COVID19 situation has put a financial burden on the state, and obviously it requires the system to work continuously. There has been a lot of pressure, and we have spent Rs 200 crore in the last nine months,” the CM said after a high-level meeting on COVID19 chaired by Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh on Friday.
“But there has been a lot of financial involvement and it is something we cannot escape as it requires a lot of work to be done,” chief minister Sangma added.
Opposition leader Dr Mukul Sangma and other legislators also attended the meeting.
Dr Sangma said the fight against the virus has been a battle for the government since there has been a lot of financial involvement.
He also said the state government has to look forward and see how it could slowly start managing things where it can reduce expenditures.
“For example, a lot of states have made it mandatory for people to pay when they test but for our state, in a lot of situations, we have not yet charged,” chief minister Sangma said.
“All these aspects are there, and we need to examine that there are pros and cons of expenditures, but at the end of the day, it is to ensure that we are able to fight this in the best possible manner.
“We will work on how to improve things and at the same time, minimize the expenditures. It has been a tough battle and expenditures have been a lot,” the CM added.
He also said in a situation like this, “we all are going to work together, whether we are part of the ruling or opposition our responsibility is to ensure we work as a team and give our ideas, suggestions and take it positively and ensure what we can do best to ensure we fight against this (COVID).”
Stating that this is not the fight that only the government will do or the fight of MLAs or legislature, but the fight where the society has to come together.
“It is only when people and society start responding and start taking this as a serious issue, and follow basic protocols, we will see that we are able to fight. This is most probably the only vaccine that we have. I think behavioural change and long term adaptation is the only way to fight,” he said.
He said that the government would try to incorporate suggestions and see how it can improve the delivery mechanism to be able to fight this virus.
“The members (of the Assembly) have pointed out shortcomings that are there. In nine months, the government as a whole has been fighting this. Therefore, there could be an element of fatigueness among the individuals, the system and there could have been situations where there could be slips,” he admitted.