Budgam Admin spent only 10 percent of COVID-19 funds to procure life saving equipment, rest paid off to hoteliers, building owners
90 percent of the expenditure from funds kept aside to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in district Budgam has not been to procure lifesavingequipment, but to pay off hoteliers and other lodgings for quarantine accommodations, a Right to Information query has revealed.
In the district, only 10 percent of the total expenditure was utilized in procuring essential healthcare and protective equipment like masks and other items.
The documents accessed by Rising Kashmir reveal that a total of Rs 9.77 crores were spent by the district administration from March-01 to August-20 of this year to cope with the pandemic.
While a major portion of this amount should have been utilized to procure essential healthcare and personnel protection kits,it has instead has gone to the hoteliers providing their services to government as quarantine centres.
The figures reveal that the administration has spent only Rs 96.81 lakh’s to purchase essential equipment for COVID-19 related procedures including masks, sanitizers, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, oxy meters and other items.
Of the funds received by the Budgam district administration on account of COVID-19, a payment of Rs 3.16 crores was made to hotels and other private building owners as charges for boarding and lodging of COVID-19 patients and the people put under quarantine till August-20.
The documents reveal that the pending claims regarding payment of boarding and lodging charges of the hotels and other private building owners was Rs 5.64 crores.
The information was revealed by the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Budgam district administration in a reply to the queries of Right to Information (RTI) filed by the right activist M MShuja.
“A total of Rs 750 lakh’s were received by the district administration from SDRF and government on account of COVID-19 Pandemic,” the PIO’s reply says.