Covid-19 lockdown: Tamil Nadu asks Centre not to resume trains, flights

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to resume train and flight services and ban inter-state movement of people as well.

The State also asked the Centre to sanction an ad hoc grant of Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) to the state for procurement of medical supplies to fight the spread of Coronavirus.

Speaking at the PM's videoconference with state Chief Ministers, Palaniswami called for the smooth supply of essentials through railways and sought permission for inter-state movement of goods.

He also urged the Prime Minister to announce a special package for the agricultural sector, saying the food crisis should not hit the nation. Palaniswami also asked for additional funding from the Centre and distribution od essentials to unorganised sector workers and farm labourers.

The Tamil Nadu CM also said their families may be provided Rs 2,000 as assistance, and asked the Centre to supply 200,000 test kits as well.

Twenty-one government and 155 private hospitals have been notified to provide treatment for infected people in the State, he said.

Reiterating the state’s demand of Rs 12,000 crore for Covid-19 relief, Palaniswami said the fiscal deficit limits of 3 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) may be raised to 4.5 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21.

“Borrowing of 33 per cent above the permitted level for fiscal year 2019-20, may be allowed for 2020-21 for combating this pandemic. Fifty per cent of the 2020-21 Finance Commission grants to the Urban and Rural Local bodies can be released now. The GST (Goods and Services Tax) compensation due for December-January 2019-20 may be released immediately,” Palaniswami told Modi.

According to him, the ways-and-means limit of the States which was rasied by 30 per cent by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should be doubled and advances availed in the fiscal year 2020-21 made interest-free.

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