Tamil Nadu ask Centre to increase supply of test kits and other essentials

A health worker sanitises an area | Photo: PTI
The Tamil Nadu Government has asked the Centre to increase the supply of test kits and other items such as PPEs, N-95 masks and ventilators to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, aprt from seeking Rs 9,000 crore assistance. It has also asked the Centre to relax fiscal deficit limit and increase the additional borrowing limit.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said today that he had also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference for a sum of Rs 3,000 crore to purchase protective gear. This was in addition to a one-time assistance of Rs 9,000 crore to address Covid-19 challenges.  

"To meet out the additional expenditure arising due this pandemic, additional borrowing of 33 per cent above the permitted level for fiscal year 2019-20, may be allowed for 2020-21," the Chief Minister said, adding that grants due to States in 2020-21 may be released in advance, 50 per cent of the Finance Commission grants to the Urban and Rural Local bodies can be released now and 50 per cent of the revenue deficit grant can be released now.  

He said the GST compensation amount due for December-January 2019-20 can be released immediately, along with grants under the National Health Mission.

The Ways and Means limit of the States, which the RBI raised by 30 per cent, should be doubled, and the advances availed in the fiscal year 2020-21 should be made interest free, said Palaniswami.

As on date (April 2) 234 Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed in Tamil Nadu. These cases are identified, isolated or quarantined by the State on a war footing. 

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