Published On : Sat, Aug 29th, 2020

Covid-19: CM’s Relief Fund gets Rs 541 crore but spent only Rs 132 cr

Nagpur: Maharashtra Government has so far received donations of Rs 541.18 crore for special fund under Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. But only Rs 132.25 crore were used on various counts.

The information was revealed in response to a query posed by Nagpur-based activist Abhay Kolarkar under Right to Information (RTI) Act. The State Government had set up a Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) COVID-19 bank account on March 28, 2020. Since then, people donated over Rs 541.18 crore in the said account. Till August 3,of the total amount in the said CMRF account, Rs 132.25 crore were released to deal with Covid-19.

Milind Kabadi, Assistant Accounts Officer and Public Information Officer, CMRF, shared the information as sought by Kolarkar under Right to Information (RTI) Act. Kolarkar had sought information regarding CMRF (COVID-19), amount released for COVID-19, list of donors, amount released to Nagpurdistrict, and COVID Fund released to hospitals in Nagpur etc.

Replying to the RTI application, Kabadi statedthat CMRF(COVID-19) bank account had deposits of Rs 541.18 crore as on August 3. Till that date, of the total deposits, Rs 132.25 crore were spent on dealing with COVID-19 situation in State. An amount of Rs 80 lakh was given to the family members of 16 migrant workers killed in train accident at Aurangabad. Family of each of the deceased migrant workers got Rs 5 lakh.

As far as amount released from CMRF(COVID-19) to Nagpur district is concerned, Kolarkar got the information that an amount of Rs 1.20 crore was released to District Collectorate, Nagpur. However, in reply to another query, Kabadi informed Kolarkar that so far money was released from COVID Fund to only three hospitals in Maharashtra including Rs 20 crore to St George Hospital, Mumbai; Rs 1,07,06,920 to Ratnagiri and Jalna District Hospitals.

Regarding list of donors, Kabadi stated that the information sought by Kolarkar was ‘vast’ and would require devoting resources of the CMRF office. Citing this, he mentioned in the response to RTI query that manpower was not available in big numbers due to prevailing lockdown, for the purpose. Besides, CMRF account recorded many transactions daily and it was not possible to provide information regarding names of donors as many of them deposited donation by cheque.

In most cases, bank entries also mentioned only the cheque number. Besides, the information regarding names of donors and amount donated falls in the category of breaching privacy of individuals and hence cannot be given, Kabadi informed Kolarkar.