The Central Government on Tuesday 12th August 2020 has released Rs.6195.08 crores to the 14 states as the 5th equated monthly installment of the post-devolution revenue deficit grant. The Finance ministry said that this scheme will provide the states with additional resources during the covid-19 crisis pandemic. This will help the states in taking preventive measures or steps towards the spread of Covid-19. The central government has released equal installments of the grant to various states since April. Before this, the central government had disbursed the similar amount to 14 States on April 3, May 11 and June 10. The grant was beneficial by the 15th Finance commission, and Centre has issued equal instalments of the grant to states to since April.
Under the latest grant, Rs.491.4 crores were released for Andhra Pradesh; Rs.631.5 crores on Assam; Rs.952.5 crores for Himachal Pradesh; Rs.1276.9 crores for Kerala; Rs.235 crores for Manipur; Rs.40 crores for Meghalaya; Rs.326 crores for Nagaland; Rs.638 crores for Punjab; Rs.335.4 crores for TamilNadu; Rs.269.6 crores for Tripura; Rs.423 crores for Uttarakhand; and Rs. 417.7 crores for West Bengal.
With these funds states can set up quarantine facilities, speed up sample collection and ramp up screening and testing in high case load areas. The states facing fund crunch will also be able to use these funds for buying personal protection equipment (PPE) Kits, thermal scanners, ventilators and other essential consumables in Hospitals. Cash-trapped states also can use the funds to cowl the price of consumables and buy of non-public safety tools for healthcare, municipal, police and fireplace authorities in addition to buy of thermal scanners, ventilators, air purifiers and consumables for government hospitals.
In April, the central government had allotted Rs.17,287 crores to states to enhance their financial resources during the covid-19 crisis. Of this, Rs.6195.08 crore was released on account of revenue deficit grant to 14 states, while remaining Rs.11,092 crores to all states as an Advance payment of the Centre’s share of the First installment of State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) for setting up quarantine facilities and arranging other facilities for checking the spread of corona virus.