New Delhi, April 3
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday approved the release of Rs 11,092 crore to all states under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) for setting up quarantine facilities to check the spread of coronavirus.
The Centre has released in advance its share of the first installment of the SDRMF for 2020-21, amounting to Rs 11,092 crore, with a view to augment funds available with the state governments. This fund is to be used for setting up quarantine facilities, sample collection and screening; setting up additional testing labs, cost of consumables; purchase of PPE for healthcare, municipal, police personnel and firefighters and purchase of thermal scanners, ventilators, air purifiers and consumables for government hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Centre has reiterated its direction to states governments and the Union Territories to allow exemptions to the agriculture sector for harvesting and to communicate the same to field agencies working in rural areas.
In a fresh letter to chief secretaries of states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “With a view to ensure smooth harvesting and sowing operations, while maintaining social distancing, it is requested that exceptions allowed for agriculture sector must be communicated to all field agencies.
“Though exceptions have been allowed for farming operations by farmers and farm workers, procurement of agricultural produce, operation of mandis, movement of harvesting and sowing-related machinery, however, these exceptions have not percolated down to the field level.” — TNS
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