Assam facing financial stress due to Covid-19: Himanta Biswa Sarma

"While fighting Covid-19 in Assam, our revenues or resources are slowly getting stressed. If it continues till October-November, then it will be difficult for us," Sarma said

Assam Finance Minister Himanta

Biswa Sarma on Saturday said the state is gradually facing financial stress because of huge expenditure incurred while dealing with the COVID-19 situation, including treatment of the patients.

He announced the withdrawal of some of the free services offered to COVID-19 patients like reaching them to their homes after discharge from hospitals and levied charges on dedicated cabins.

Also all paying cabins in government hospitals, which had been made free for COVID-19 patients, will resume being charged ones from now on to mitigate the financial crisis of the state.

"While fighting COVID-19 pandemic in Assam, our revenues or resources are slowly getting stressed ... If it continues till October-November, then it will be difficult for us," he told a press conference.

"We will also not be giving free vehicle drops to a patient after he is discharged. He or she has to arrange it. However, for inter-district movement of patients after release we will continue to arrange their transport," he said.

Sarma said that if anyone wishes to get the result of RT-PCR test within 24 hours in government hospitals they will be required to pay Rs 2,200.

"We made a calculation that till yesterday that we have one lakh patients. If they are staying in a hospital for 10 days it means it will be 10 lakh in headcount. If we are spending Rs 500 per day, then it becomes a Rs 500-crore affair.

"We have done 20 lakh tests and if we have spent Rs 1,000 approximately in every test, then it is Rs 200 crore.

"The state government can definitely not handle such a huge burden. So, a time may come when we will be able to look after only the poor patients. However, today that situation has not come yet," he added.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel