Modi government latest package announcement includes vaccine development, purchasing ventilators and helping migrant labourers.
PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust today announced to allocate Rs. 3100 Crore for the fight against COVID-2019 with focus on migrant labourers too. Of the Rs 3100 crore package, the Modi government will earmark Rs 2000 Crores for the purchase of ventilators and it will spend another Rs 100 Crores for the development of vaccines. In addition to this, Rs. 1000 crores will be used to support migrant labourers.
Headed by the PM’s office, the trust was formed on March 27, 2020, along with the Defence Ministery, Home Ministery, and Finance Ministery.
I) For Ventilators
For augmenting the infrastructure to tackle COVID-2019 cases across the country, 50000‘Made-in-India’ ventilators will be purchased from PM CARES Fund at a cost of approximately Rs. 2000 Crores
These ventilators will be provided to government-run COVID hospitals in all States/UTs, for better treatment of the critical COVID-19 cases.
II) To Support Migrant Labourers
For strengthening the existing measures being taken for the welfare of the migrants and poor, the Modi government will further give a lump sum assistance of total Rs. 1000 to different states and union territories.
This amount would be provided to the State Governments/UTs to place it at the disposal of the District Collectors/Municipal Commissioners for strengthening their efforts in providing accommodation facilities, making food arrangements, providing medical treatment and making transportation arrangements of the migrants.
Further, The central government will release funds both in terms of state and union territory-wise on the weightage of three major parameters such as a) Population 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 and union territories to ensure basic minimum sum for all states. The Modi government will release funds to the District Collector/District Magistrate/Municipal Commissioner through the State Disaster Relief Commissioner of the concerned states and union territories.
III) For Vaccine Development
Moreover, a vaccine against COVID-2019 is the most pressing need and Indian academia, start-ups, and industry have come together in cutting-edge vaccine design and development. So the Modi government plans to support the COVID-2019 vaccine designers and will allocate
Rs 100 Crores from the PM CARES Fund as a helping hand to catalyse vaccine development. The Principal Scientific Advisor will monitor the utilization of this fund and the development of this vaccine.
However, The announcement has no mentions about the allocation of funds to states for migrant labourers on the basis of the numbers of migrant labourers.