Bengaluru, Aug 25 (IANS) Thousands of citizens and corporates contributed Rs 306 crore to the Karnataka Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for treating Covid-hit patients across the southern state, an official said on Tuesday.
“The state government’s appeal for liberal contributions to the relief fund received an overwhelming response from citizens and corporates across the state despite corona virus affecting their life and livelihood,” an official at the chief minister’s office told IANS here.
Of the Rs 306 crore donated to the fund from March 25 to July 23, 50 per cent of the corpus has been spent on Covid relief measures across the state as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Union Health Ministry under the National Disaster Management Act.
“While contributions from individuals ranged from a modest Rs 100 to over Rs 1 lakh, corporates and cooperatives donated generously in lakhs of rupees, exemption from income tax notwithstanding,” said the official.
As the state-run hospitals did not have medical equipment and installed capacity to treat Covid patients in thousands at a time, the relief fund was used to ramp-up facilities and supplies in designated hospitals and primary health centres at the local body and district levels.
“As intensive care unit (ICU) beds were not in adequate numbers for treating patients in serious condition or requiring oxygen or ventilators, substantial amount of the fund was used in creating more ICUs and oxygen flow beds in cities and towns across the state,” noted the official.
Of the relief amount (Rs 153 crore) spent so far, Rs 109 crore was given to the state health department for additional facilities, capacity expansion and medical equipment supplies, Rs 44 crore to the state medical education department for resource mobilisation.
“Personal appeal by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa soon after the pandemic broke in mid-March for contributions evoked good response from the people and institutions as Rs 127 crore was received by the relief fund between March 25 and April 9 during the first phase of the lockdown enforced to contain the virus spread,” the official pointed out.
Besides Yediyurappa donating his 1-year salary (Rs 24.10 lakh), 30 per cent salary of all state legislators and ministers, contributed Rs 15 crore to the fund.