May 13, 2020
From the total grant, US$264 million will go towards the procurement of 50,000 ventilators, manufactured under the Made In India program
Around US$132 million will be utilised in improving housing, medical aid, food, and transportation for migrant labourers and poorer segments of society
From the funding programme, around US$13 million will be used in supporting the research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine
Initiatives such as the ‘CovidGyaan’ portal and Invest India Business Platform are also helping the vulnerable sections amid the pandemic
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund has allocated US$409 million towards fighting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic currently facing the country, according to an official release on May 13. The PM CARES Fund trust, consisting of the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Home Minister, and Finance Minister has outlined how the funding will be utilised to procure more ventilators, to support the needs of migrant labourers, and to bolster vaccine development against the virus.
The Fund will direct US$264 million towards the procurement of 50,000 ventilators, manufactured under the Make in India program, to be supplied to government hospitals across the country. Another US$132 million will be used to support the welfare of migrant labourers and poorer segments of the population with better accommodation facilities, medical treatment, and access to food and transportation. This leaves US$13 million which will go towards research and development efforts for a COVID-19 vaccine, supporting the efforts of Indian academia, medical startups, and the healthcare industry as a whole.
India’s top scientists, engineers, and medical professionals are working together to improve collective understanding of the virus and its impact through collaborative initiatives such as ‘CovidGyan’, a portal collating vital information for public awareness, initiated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Tata Memorial Centre (TMC).
Apart from providing comprehensive healthcare assistance to citizens, the Government has announced a US$22.5 billion relief package to help the most vulnerable sections of society ride out the crisis. Additionally, the recently established Invest India Business Immunity Platform has been providing entrepreneurs and businesses with access to information and special provisions for issue redressal, while the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has launched a help desk to assist with any COVID-19 related export and import issues faced by businesses.