Union Minister Harsh Vardhan has informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare received Rs 893.93 crores from PM-CARES Fund for 50,000 made in India ventilators.
While responding to a question by Leader of Indian National Congress(INC) in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury during the discussion on Covid-19 pandemic on 20 September, the Union Health Minister said, “My ministry got Rs 893.93 crores from PM-CARES Fund for 50,000 made in India ventilators.”
The INC MP from Berhampore asked Harsh Vardhan about funds the Union Health Ministry received from PM CARES Fund. “PM-CARES Fund was established for tackling COVID-19 pandemic. I ask the health minister – how much fund has been received by your ministry and state governments from PM-CARES Fund?” he asked.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was set on March 27 to raise funds to bolster the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The Opposition parties have been targeting the Narendra Modi government over setting up of the PM Cares fund. The INC has been questioning the need for a separate fund when the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is already in existence.
Alleging misappropriation of the PM Cares fund, INC has been demanding its audit.
‘Allocate funds from PM CARES to rehabilitate migrant workers’
The INC MP asked the Central government to allocate funds from PM CARES for the rehabilitation of lakhs of migrant workers displaced due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The hardship faced by the people could have been mitigated if there was a well laid out strategy, he said in the Lok Sabha, adding that the intensity of the pandemic could have been moderated.
Chowdhury also flagged the issue of “under-reporting” of COVID-19 deaths in the country.
On the issue of migrant workers, he said lakhs of such workers were forced to flee to their home states on foot as there was no means of transportation during the ‘severe’ lockdown period.
Now, these workers are not finding work in their home states to sustain themselves and again compelled to move to places where they can find work, he added.