Tamil Nadu seeks over Rs 15,000 crore from Centre to fight Covid-19

Topics Tamil Nadu | Coronavirus

He asked the Ministry concerned to remove the requirements for the power sector reform and also to allow greater latitude to States in implementing the reform agenda.
The Tamil Nadu Government has asked for over Rs 15,000 crore assistance to support various schemes to help the state to fight Covid-19. These include a sanction of Rs 3,000 crore fund to enhance available medical equipment. The state also said that the Ways-and-Means limit of the States, which was increased by 30 per cent by RBI, should be doubled and advances availed in 2020-21 should be made interest-free.

During the Prime Minister's interaction with various States Chief Ministers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami requested the Centre to release a second tranche of funds under National Health Mission and sought Rs 9,000 crore as special grant for combating Covid-19 and its after effects on the State’s economy.

While asking the Centre to release the GST compensation for March now, he said, 50 per cent of the 2020-21 Finance Commission grants to the Urban and Rural Local bodies may be released now.

He requested an ad-hoc grant of Rs 1,000 crore from NDRF immediately to fight the pandemic and to provide additional allocation of food grains and pulses free of cost for all card holders, including the NPHH beneficiaries, under PMGKAY Scheme.

While asking the Government to release a pending CMR subsidy of Rs 1,321 crore at this time, which will facilitate paddy procurement, he also requested a relief package to ease the immediate burden on the power sector, which will help distressed Discoms.

He asked the Ministry concerned to remove the requirements for the power sector reform and also to allow greater latitude to States in implementing the reform agenda.

The state also proposed several externally aided projects to the Center, for posing to various external financial agencies. Early approval of the Department of Economic Affairs and concerned Government of India Agencies will enable quick disbursement, which would contribute to the broader economic revival efforts.

Palaniswami requested the Prime Minister to instruct Sidbi to provide at least Rs 1,000 crore as refinance to Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited from the RBI special packages. This, he said, would help revive the MS&ME industries in Tamil Nadu.

On the state's efforts to control Covid-19 spread, he said, Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of Covid testing labs in the country, with 45 Government and 34 private labs, a total of 79 labs.

"I would also like to inform you that Tamil Nadu is currently conducting the maximum number of Covid tests in the country. The State is continuing the strategy of aggressive, targeted testing".

As on date, some 748,244 samples have been tested and 48,019 persons were  found  positive. There are only 20,706 active cases in the State as on date. Death rate is only 1.09 per cent and it is one of the lowest in the country. Some 26,782 patients have been discharged so far, which works out to a recovery rate of 55.8 per cent.

Chennai city and its suburbs continue to face a challenging situation due to high population density.  Chennai Corporation, having a population of around 8.4 million, with a floating population of 500,000, is carrying out intensive door to door to survey, he said.

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