Central Govt to use Rs 3,100 Crore from PM-CARES for ventilators & migrants’ welfare

New Delhi, May 14  The Centre allocated Rs 3,100 crore from the PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund on Wednesday evening to fight against COVID-19.

The bulk of it, Rs 2,000 crore, will be spent to buy ventilators, while a significant Rs 1,000 crore is being earmarked for the migrant laborers. As much as Rs 100 crore is kept for supporting vaccine development.

To ramp up the health infrastructure, as much as 50,000 ‘Made in India’ ventilators will be purchased from PM CARES Fund at a cost of about Rs 2,000 crore. These ventilators will be provided to government-run COVID hospitals in all states and Union Territories for better treatment of critical COVID-19 cases.

Also to address one of the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time, a lump-sum assistance of total Rs 1,000 crore from the Fund is earmarked for the welfare of the migrant labourers. The money will be given to different states and UTs. The money is meant to strengthen districts’ efforts in providing accommodation facilities, making food arrangements, providing medical treatment and making transportation arrangements of the migrants.

But which state will get how much? “State/UT-wise funds will be released on the weightage of (a) population of the state/UT as per 2011 Census — 50% weightage (b) Number of positive COVID-19 cases as on date — 40% weightage and (c) equal share (10% weightage) for all states/UTs to ensure basic minimum sum for all states.

“The fund will be released to the District Collector/District Magistrate/Municipal Commissioner through the State Disaster Relief Commissioner of the States/UTs concerned,” said a government statement.

Meanwhile, Rs 100 crore is kept for developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Indian academia, start-ups and industry have come together in cutting-edge vaccine design and development an the money is meant to support their research and development. However, it will be utilized under the supervision of the Principal Scientific Advisor.

The PM-CARES was formed on March 27 this year, three days into the lockdown, and is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other ex-officio members of the trust are Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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