PM-CARES Fund to allocate Rs 2,000 crore for purchasing ventilators, Rs 1,000 cr for migrants

The PM CARES Fund Trust on Wednesday decided to allocate Rs 3,100 crore for fight against COVID-19, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Of the Rs 3,100 crore, nearly Rs 2,000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators and Rs 1,000 crore for care of migrant labourers, it said. Another Rs 100 crore will be given to support coronavirus vaccine development, the statement said.

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The trust formed on March 27 is headed by the prime minister. The other ex-officio members of the trust are the defence minister, the home minister and the finance minister.

The announcements come as the number of COVID-19 cases in India crossed 77,000, with more than 2,500 deaths reported, according to Worldometer. Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district, social distancing norms were flouted when a crowd gathered to welcome a monk and his group when they arrived. The video went viral on social media.

Earlier today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman detailed out the measures to be taken under the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to combat the impact of coronavirus as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night.

The first tranche of the announcement was focussed on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Employee Provident Fund, Non-Banking Financial Companies, discoms, real estate, and direct taxes.

Stressing on the direction provided by the PM on Aatmanirabar Bharat Abhiyan, the Finance Minister said, “These measures will spur growth and build a self-reliant India.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath lauded the Centre for Rs 20 lakh crore COVID-19 economic stimulus package, saying it would benefit over three crore people in the state’s MSME sector.

He also said that keeping in mind the MSME sector, the state is going to organise a loan fair from Thursday.

“Tomorrow, over 36,000 entrepreneurs will be given Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000 crore in loans,” said the chief minister, according to an official spokesman.

“I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the finance minister for the package. Presently, UP is the state with maximum MSMEs. Over three crore people of state are related to the sector directly or indirectly. This will make them strong,” Adityanath said.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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