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Let small shops, businesses, industries open: CM to Shah 9 CMs Attend PM’s Video Conference, Pb Lists Issues In Writing

April 28, 2020 05:47 AM

COURTESY TOI APR 28

Let small shops, businesses, industries open: CM to Shah
9 CMs Attend PM’s Video Conference, Pb Lists Issues In Writing
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Chandigarh:

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday urged Union home minister Amit Shah to allow opening of small shops, businesses and industries in all areas except the containment zones, with full compliance of Covid-19 prevention measures.


In a letter sent to Shah, in response to the Centre’s request for a written submission of issues faced by the state, Capt Amarinder highlighted the pending issues that need the urgent attention of the Government of India, for reference and follow up.

While nine chief ministers had been identified to speak at the Prime Minister’s video conference on Monday, those of other states, including Punjab, had been asked to send a written submission listing pending issues to the central government.

Among the various state related issues pending for the Centre’s attention, Amarinder sought release of Punjab’s GST arrears of Rs 4,386.37 crore, as well as, a revenue deficit grant to meet the shortfall in revenue combined with need for higher expenditure on relief and healthcare.

Other pending issues cited by Amarinder included bonus to farmers for staggered purchase of wheat and direct cash assistance to daily industrial and agricultural labour, including the migrant labour.

He also reiterated the state’s demand for assistance to MSMEs and power generation and distribution companies by way of interest subvention, deferment of loans by commercial banks and reduction in GST on coal.

In a detailed listing of the issues pending with the Centre, he said a revenue grant for the next three months, with a flexibility to the states in spending as per local conditions, would help them tide over the acute fiscal crisis faced due to revenue shortfall. He reiterated his suggestion that the 15th Finance Commission should review its report for the current year as situation has completely changed due to Covid-19 pandemic. The 15th Finance Commission should recommend devolution of funds for five years beginning April 2021 (instead of 2020) onwards after factoring in the impact of the pandemic, he added.

Amarinder also urged the Centre to announce a special risk insurance of police personnel and sanitary workers engaged in fight against coronavirus. He sought relief to labourers in the form of provision of universal basic income of Rs 6,000 per month

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