Amid raging pandemic, Uttar Pradesh Congress calls for white paper on state's COVID Care Fund

LUCKNOW: The Congress on Sunday demanded the Uttar Pradesh government release a white paper on the state’s COVID Care Fund amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases.

In a statement issued here, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said the COVID Care Fund was created in April 2020 through which people from different sections of society deposited money.

The MLA funds were suspended for a year, and 30 percent salary of the ministers and legislators cut and deposited in the COVID Care Fund.

It was said that the money would be used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lallu said no one knows where this fund is in the second wave of COVID-19.

“Where is the fund being spent now? The people in the state are facing a shortage of oxygen, medicines, and basic facilities. In this scenario, where is the COVID fund being spent, nothing is known,” Lallu said adding that the government should release a white paper on this issue.

The UP Congress chief also claimed that the money meant for being used to provide medical treatment to the people was diverted.

“As a result in the second wave of COVID-19, the government has left the people to die. Today because of the laxity and insensitivity of the Yogi Adityanath government, every citizen is fighting the COVID pandemic at their own level and in their own capacity,” Lallu said.

He also said the UP Chief Minister in a written reply to the UP Legislative Assembly had said that till July 2020, Rs 412 crore was deposited from various sources, of which Rs 252 crore was used to buy medical equipment and to help the migrant laborers.

“Where the rest of the Rs 160 crore has gone is not known. Any information about money being deposited in the COVID Care Fund has not been made public. Why is it so?” Lallu questioned in the statement.