Finance Minister explains on Rs 15,000 crore that was spent on fight against COVID-19
New Delhi, May 17: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the Centre has taken several steps in the healthcare sector to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the press conference, the Finance Minister said, "Rs 15,000 crore have been announced for states, essential items, testing labs and kits, along with rolling out of teleconsultation services, the launch of Aarogya Setu application and protection to health care workers with adequate PPEs."
The Finance Minister also said that the Central government has released more than Rs 4,113 crore to states, adding that insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs per person has been announced for the healthcare workers.
She further went on to say that the Epidemic Diseases Act was amended for protection of healthcare workers.
The Finance Minister said that health expenditure would be increased and investment at the grassroots level will be ramped up for health and wellness centres, with a particular focus on "aspirational districts".
In her fourth address on Saturday, Sitharaman announced "structural reforms" in the sectors of coal, minerals defence production, airspace management, MROs power distribution companies, space sectors, atomic energy.
In the first tranche of the economic stimulus, the Finance Minister focused on the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the middle class. The second tranche took care of migrant workers and small shopkeepers. The third tranche saw the Finance Minister focusing on agriculture and its allied activities.