Chandigarh, Apr 23: Following up on his letter to the Prime Minister suggesting a three-pronged strategy to bail out States from the COVID crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has now urged his counterparts in all the States to pursue the matter with the Centre.
Capt Amarinder has written to the Chief Ministers of all the States to also write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to consider the suggestions he had made to combat the crisis.
Pointing out that it was a matter of concern to all states, Capt Amarinder said in his letter to all Chief Ministers that all the States are reeling under the impact of shrinking revenues and heightened requirements of welfare and healthcare due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, he underlined the urgent need to request the Union Government to give a special three-month COVID revenue grant with flexibility to States in spending as per local conditions.
He has also urged the States to seek review by the Finance Commission of its recommendations for the current year since the ground situation had completely changed due to the pandemic. Capt Amarinder has urged the Chief Ministers to seek deferment of the full report of the Finance Commission by a year, so that the requirements of the States for economic revival and relief as well as rehabilitation could be fully assessed post COVID-19, and adequately provided by the Commission.
The Finance Commission’s five-year report should begin from April 1, 2021, instead of 2020, after factoring in the COVID impact, Capt Amarinder has suggested, urging his counterparts to take up the matter with the Prime Minister, who is spearheading the national efforts to manage and contain COVID-19. (UNI)