Arunachal could contain spread of Covid-19 pandemic due to collective teamwork: CM

ITANAGAR, 2 Mar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said that the state could contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic due to the collective teamwork of various stakeholders and meticulous planning.

Participating in the motion of thanks on the governor’s address, Khandu said that though the year 2020-21 passed through a crucial phase due to the pandemic, the state government, however, carried out all important central projects, including providing salaries to its employees, pensions and stipends to students.

“Despite the pandemic, the government was able to disburse salaries, pensions and stipends and released payment to the tune of Rs 1,900 crore for continuation of all pending central projects and schemes,” Khandu said.

He said the government could contain the spread of the pandemic as the state imposed lockdown two days in advance of the national lockdown.

He lauded the health workers, frontline workers, administrative officers, police, community-based organizations and other stakeholders for their teamwork in controlling the virus.

Lauding the MLAs for their support to the government in the fight against Covid-19 by forgoing 30 percent of their salaries, Khandu added that 45 MLAs contributed Rs 20 lakhs each to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), besides other individuals, as a result of which an amount of Rs 23 crore was raised for effective Covid management.”

“Under the Garib Kalyan Yojana of the prime minister, the state government provided free ration to 90,000 BPL families, including migrant labourers, during the nationwide lockdown,” the chief minister said, adding that, under the Ujala scheme, the government provided LPG connections to several thousand families.

Referring to the financial situation of the state, Khandu said that under the 14th Finance Commission (2015-16 to 2019-20) the state witnessed a shortfall of Rs 2,650 crore, while in the last year 2020-21, the state witnessed a shortfall of Rs 4,121 crore, which amount to a total shortfall of Rs 6,700 crore in the last five years.

“Despite the shortfall, the government did not allow the state to go through a financial crisis due to meticulous planning and excellent teamwork,” he added.

Participating in the discussion, CLP leader Lombo Tayeng commended the NDA government’s thrust on border connectivity, saying that during the UPA regime at the Centre, construction of roads at border areas was totally banned due to various factors.

Tayeng also lauded the Chief Minister Road Development Plan, which he said would bring all-round development in the state.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Nabam Tuki suggested to the government to prepare a proper water policy to harness the water potential of the state, and to give more thrust on ecotourism and preservation of heritage sites, saying the sectors would ensure gainful employment in the state.

Later the house adopted the motion by voice vote. (PTI)