Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged Chief Ministers of other states to pursue the matter with the Centre, following up on his letter to the Prime Minister suggesting a three-pronged strategy to bail out states from the COVID crisis. The CM has written to the Chief Ministers to also write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to consider the suggestions he had made to combat the crisis.
Amarinder Singh in his letter pointed out that the states are reeling under the impact of shrinking revenues and heightened requirements of welfare and healthcare due to the pandemic. He mentioned the urgent need to request the government of India to give a special three-month COVID revenue grant with the flexibility to states in spending as per local conditions.
Furthermore, he appealed the states to seek a review by the Finance Commission of its recommendations for the current year since the ground situation had completely changed due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, six more persons contracted coronavirus in Punjab on Wednesday, taking the total count of infected cases in the state to 257 and active ones to 188. As per the daily medical bulletin, five cases were reported from Jalandhar and one from Kapurthala.
The Punjab government has also sought from the Centre an interim compensation of Rs 3,000 crore for the month of April in view of "alarming resource gap" and also demanded permission for sale of liquor to mobilise excise revenue.
Pointing to the alarming resource gap between the state's anticipated receipts and committed expenditure, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday demanded interim compensation to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore for the month of April on account of the COVID-19 national disaster, said a government statement.
In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the chief minister also asked for expediting the release of the state's GST arrears of Rs 4,400 crore for the last four months, to help overcome resource constraint.