State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday that the Assam government received financial assistance of over Rs 262 crore from the Centre for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the roll-out of the vaccination campaign. Sarma added that the government allocated an additional Rs 760 crore for the prevention and management of the pandemic to the general budget grant of Rs 6,126 crore to the Health Department in the current fiscal year, presenting the 'Vote on Account Budget for 2021-22'.
For the rollout of the first phase of the vaccination programme for the frontline workers, the Centre has provided a grant of Rs 2.46 crore to Assam, Sarma said in his speech. "In addition, we have also received funds amounting to Rs 4.99 crore and Rs 8.36 crore from the Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Ministry and GIZ India for management of COVID-19," he said. During the pandemic, the public made a generous financial contribution of Rs 116.89 crore to the Assam Aarogya Nidhi in a very short time span, but that amount has not been used as of now, the finance minister informed the assembly. As a result of a coordinated effort by all, the state has consistently maintained a high COVID-19 recovery rate of 98.73 per cent and one of the lowest mortality rates at 0.5 per cent, which has been nationally and globally acknowledged, claimed Sarma, who is also the state health minister. He further said that the vaccination drive to give the people a reasonable safety net is the next objective with a provision of 6.6 lakh vaccine doses.