PM CARES Fund allocates Rs 2,000 crore for purchasing ventilators, 1,000 cr for migrants
New Delhi, May 13: The PM CARES Fund Trust on Wednesday decided to allocate Rs 3,100 crore for fight against COVID-19, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
Out of the Rs 3,100 crore, neatly Rs 2,000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators and Rs 1,000 crore for care of migrant labourers, it said.
Another Rs 100 crore will be given to support coronavirus vaccine development, the statement said.
The trust formed on March 27 is headed by the prime minister. The other ex-officio members of the trust are the defence minister, the home minister and the finance minister.
For augmenting the infrastructure to tackle COVID-19 cases across the country, 50,000 'Made-in-India' ventilators will be purchased from PM CARES Fund at a cost of approximately Rs 2000 crore, the statement said.
These ventilators will be provided to government-run COVID hospitals in all states and union territories for better treatment of the critical COVID-19 cases, it added. Several institutions of higher learning and defence establishments have pitched in to produce low-cost ventilators after the outbreak of the virus.
For strengthening the existing measures being taken for the welfare of the migrants and the poor, states and UTs will be given a lump sum assistance totalling Rs 1,000 crore from the fund.
The amount would be provided to state governments and UTs for district collectors or municipal commissioners to strengthen efforts to provide accommodation, food, medical treatment and transportation to the migrants, the statement explained. Several special trains have ferried lakhs of migrant workers back to their home states as they were unwilling to stay in cities citing uncertain future due to coronavirus lockdown.
Several of them have walked hundreds of kilometres to return to their native place. The statement said state and UT-wise funds will be released on the weightage of population of the state as per 2011 Census - 50 per cent weightage. Number of positive COVID-19 cases as on date - 40 per cent weightage. And equal share -- 10 per cent weightage for all states to ensure basic minimum sum for all.
The fund will be released to the district collector or district magistrate or municipal commissioner through the State Disaster Relief Commissioner.
Referring to a vaccine to fight the virus, the statement said it is the most pressing need. "... and Indian academia, start-ups and industry have come together in cutting-edge vaccine design and development."
To support the COVID-19 vaccine designers and developers, an amount of Rs. 100 crore will be given from the fund as a "helping hand" to catalyse vaccine development, the statement said. The Rs 100 crore will be utilised under the supervision of the Principal Scientific Advisor.