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Declare Covid-19 as natural calamity: Maharashtra CM to Modi

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on April 15, 2021

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

By notifying so, the State can utilise SDRF for assisting the needy people.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to declare the Covid-19 pandemic as a natural calamity so that the government can use the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide financial assistance to the affected people. He has also demanded that the timeline for submitting the GST returns for March, April is extended by three months for small and medium taxpayers.

 

“In the view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the State, a mini lockdown is a necessity. A Covid-19 pandemic may be notified as a natural calamity for State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). Accordingly, the State may be allowed to pay Gratuitous Relief (GR) of ₹100 per adult per day and ₹60 per child per day during the period of lockdown to all the Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority House Hold (PHH) family members whose names are included in the AAY and PHH ration cards” Thackeray said.

 

He added that the said expenditure may be allowed from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) during the current financial year.

“The first instalment of the central share of SDRF may be released to the State to tide over the financial situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic,” said Thackeray. He added, “ Many small scale industries, businesses, startups have taken bank loans under different GOI schemes and have supported the country in becoming Atmanirbhar in various sectors. These today are reeling under the impact of Covid restrictions on many economic activities. Even when the sector is not restricted, contraction in demand during these times is quite evident. Given the scenario, we must come out with a helping hand for their survival,” Thackeray said.

 

A statement issued by the CM's office added that the State is going for Covid-19 tests in a big number, and the number of patients is on rising. It is estimated that the number of active patients might go up to 11.9 lakh by the month-end. The Chief Minister expressed concern over oxygen shortage, saying that State is using 1200 MT daily for medical purpose and by April end, the demand might go up to 2,000 MT. The Centre must allow bringing oxygen using airways, demanded Uddhav.

Published on April 15, 2021

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