Reacting to the recent allegations of misappropriation of funds in the name of COVID-19, the Nagaland government on Monday issued a clarification on the details of funds mobilised through pro-rata cuts and expenditure incurred on the pandemic. 

The state finance department said Rs 36.64 crore was obtained from 15 percent cur from pro-rata cut and Rs 13.64 crore from Covid cess during 2020-21, totaling Rs 50.28 crore. It said an amount of Rs 22.26 crore was received from the Central Government for Covid and Rs 3 crore from the North Eastern Council. 

However, the expenditure incurred on the pandemic during the year was Rs 180.88 crore, it said. 

 The department provided the breakup of the expenditure incurred on the pandemic during 2020-21. It said additional funds of Rs 71.18 crore was provided to the health and family welfare department, Rs 3.60 crore was spent on purchase of foodgrains for distribution, expenditure of the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority Rs 61.60 crore, Rs 1.33 crore on miscellaneous expenditure of police, jails and ex-gratia, expenditure from CM’s Relief Fund Rs 3.55 crore and expenditure from 35 percent of State Disaster Response Fund  Rs 14.36 crore. 

The department said savings from 20 percent pro-rata cut during 2021-22 was Rs 47.69 crore and additional funds of Rs 62.75 crore was provided. Of the additional finds, Rs 25.30 crore was for Covid, Rs 30 crore for 176-bed hospital at Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research and Rs 7.45 crore for vaccine purchase, it stated. 

The department said total expenditure was Rs 64.56 crore, including expenditure of Rs 1.81 crore from the CM’s Relief Fund.   

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The government said the pro-rata cuts during 2021-22 have been effected to provide free vaccines to all, as decided by the State Cabinet. It said while the expenditure on Covid is still continuing, details of expenditure from the CM’s Relief Fund are available on the website. 

The department said the State Government has during 2021-22 decided to use 25 percent of Local Area Development Programme funds to fight the pandemic, which will include the 15 percent Common Pool Fund and additional 10 percent from normal funds without touching the iconic projects. These funds will be kept with the respective District Planning and Development Board for fighting the pandemic in the respective districts. 

The department added the breakup of items of expenditure can be obtained from the departments concerned in case of necessity. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com