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Transparency for better management of Covid Fund

The digitization in decision making process has paved way for transparency and good governance at every level in matters of development and policy implementation in the State. The flow of information about government policies and programmes ensures benefits reaching common man and better implementation.

The government has taken on to transparency even in the collection and utilization of Covid funds which can be seen at a single click. Faced with pandemic and a devastating lockdown on economic activities, state government has put in place measures to respond to immediate needs of frontline workers, organizations and general public. State Disaster Management Authority has created HP SDMA COVID-19 State Disaster Response Fund to provide Personal Protection Equipment to Health Workers and other frontline officials as well as to ensure smooth supply of all other essential commodities like food items and medicines etc. and for contributions and donations for the purpose to fight COVID-19 pandemic.

People of the State came forward and generously contributed towards Covid fund. Till July 15, 2020, donations of Rs. 81,92,62,087 have been received by the HP SDMA COVID-19 State Disaster Response Fund, out of which Rs. 18,52,97,033 was released to various districts and departments during this period. Total 6,463 individuals have contributed through online donations and 3,945 persons have contributed through offline mode. This includes industrialists, businessmen, organizations, Panchayats, Mahila Mandals, individuals, and even students who even gave away their pocket money for this noble cause.

HP SDMA Covid-19 State Disaster Response Fund is a secure way to contribute to the State’s efforts to respond to coronavirus pandemic and government is ensuring top-notch transparency for utilization of this public fund.

The major contributor is Baba Balak Nath Trust, Hamirpur, which contributed Rs 6 crore. Others contributors are, Radha Soami Satsang, Procter & Gamble Home Product Private limited, Man Kind Pharma Limited, Pidilite Industries, HP State Agricultural Marketing Board, Himachal Road Transport Corporation, HP Board of School Education, HP State Agriculture Marketing Board, HP Forest Development Corporation and HP State Pollution Control Board which donated one crore each.

Personal Protection Equipment Kit in this pandemic is an important safeguard for frontline workers of different departments engaged in fight against Covid-19. For this purpose, an amount of Rs. two crore was given to HP Police Department, Rs. one crore to Municipal Corporation Shimla, Rs. 40 lakh to HP Home Guard and Civil Defence, Rs. 20 lakh to Director Animal Husbandry and Rs. five lakh to Chief Fire Officer, HP was given. Thousands of Himachali residents were stranded in Delhi and Chandigarh. The SDMA gave Rs. 10 lakh to Himachal Bhawan Chandigarh and Rs. five lakh to Himachal Bhawan Delhi for making staying arrangements for these persons.

To bring back home the stranded persons from different parts of the country through buses, trains and by air, SDMA remitted funds to different government departments, agencies and individuals. This includes, Rs. 47,67,280 to different zones of Indian Railways, Rs. 5,02,05,345 to Himachal Road Transport Corporation and Rs. 7,71,719 to Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai. The ticket fare to bring back 31 persons from Thiruvananthapuram was also borne by the government.

For the purpose of deployment of Home Guards, Rs. 10,27,000 to DC Kullu, Rs. 23,40,000 to DC Chamba, Rs. 16,50,000 to DC Kinnaur and Rs. 4,61,80,800 to Director General of Police, HP were given. For the purchase of sanitizer, mask etc., Rs. 25 thousand to Divisional Commissioner Shimla, Rs. five lakh to Secretary, Secretariat Administration Department and Rs. 20 lakh were given to Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Dharamshala.

For providing buses to the people for quarantine centers and back homes after completion of quarantine period, Rs. 50 lakh was given to Deputy Commissioner Chamba. For cremation of Corona patients, Rs. five lakh was given to Deputy Commissioner Shimla and for providing incentive to ASHA workers during Corona period Rs. 3,18,56,000 was given to Mission Director, National Health Mission.

“From April 10 to July 15, a total amount of Rs 81,92,62,087 has been received in the Covid-19 State Disaster Response fund from various donors. Out of the total amount, Rs. 79,72,00,824 has been received offline and Rs. 2,20,61,263 through online mode. An amount of Rs. 18,52,97,033 has been provided to different districts, departments and organizations,” Principal Secretary, Revenue and State Disaster Management Authority, Onkar Chand Sharma said.”

State Disaster Management Authority is maintaining high level of transparency in the transactions of the funds as a result of which people are contributing generously towards COVID fund.