Citing fund crunch, Gehlot seeks 1-lakh crore grant for states

Ashok Gehlot. (File Photo: IANS)

Jaipur, Apr 6 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot once again on Monday urged the Centre to release a one-time grant of Rs 1 lakh crore for all states, citing fund crunch in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Shooting second letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past a few days, the chief minister said the financial situation of the states is deteriorating rapidly due to a huge decline in revenue.

“The government of India should announce an economic package, including a one-time grant of Rs 1 lakh crore for all states,” he said.

The chief minister demanded that state governments should be provided an interest-free wage and means advance facility to ensure effective handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Centre should consider giving wage subsidy as done in countries like Canada as workers in the unorganised sector are staring at the loss of livelihood, he added.

Praising the Garib Kalyan Yojana and the economic package announced by the Union government to contain the economic downturn, Gehlot said, “Its timely implementation will be in public interest.”

Among other demand, Gehlot also requested to increase testing facilities to get the accurate picture of the coronavirus spread in the country.

The CM requested the PM to make arrangements for the import of testing kits and personal protection equipment (PPE) for doctors and the other medical staff.

He reiterated that the Centre should put in place the clearly laid down interstate supply chain protocol for the movement of essential goods while requesting to provide foodgrain on a par with the National Food Security Scheme (NFSS) beneficiaries to migrant labourers, street vendors, rickshaw-pullers, registered construction and factory workers.

He also sought an advance wage payment for 21 days to the registered and active labourers engaged under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which may be adjusted once the work starts at sites.

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