Ensuring smooth supply of essential commodities is a must: TN CM Palaniswami

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on April 11, 2020

Edappadi K Palaniswami, Chief Minister   -  THE HINDU

Asks for ₹9,000 crore grant for combating Covid19

With the spread of Covid19 increasing, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to resume train and flight services, and not to allow inter-State passengers movement.

In a video conference with Modi on tackling Covid19, Palaniswami requested smooth supply of essential commodities like dhal and spices, from other States through Railways and facilitate inter-State movement of these goods through lorries.

“I would like to request you that at this hour of prolonged lockdown, we should not allow a food crisis in the country. We should give total support to agriculture and I request you to announce a special package for Agriculture and Horticulture promotion," he said.

He also sought additional funding. “If the lockdown is extended, I request an additional funding as well as allotment of essential commodities to support the unorganised sector workers and agricultural labourers. They may be provided ₹2,000 per family,” Palaniswami said.

Tamil Nadu has been facing many natural disasters continuously over the years namely, Vardah in 2016, severe drought followed by Ockhi cyclone in 2017, Gaja cyclone in 2018 and still got lesser allocation under SDRF. “I request an adhoc grant of ₹1,000 crore from NDRF immediately to procure medical and protective material,”

Palaniswami thanked Modi for releasing ₹510 crore under SDRF. However, the 15th Finance Commission methodology has resulted in Tamil Nadu getting only 64.65% increase under SDRF, while for other States, it is 120.33 per cent, he told Modi.

Chief Minister has made the following requests with Modi for consideration:

PCR and rapid test kits should be supplied by Government of India in large quantities immediately.

PPEs, N-95 Masks, and ventilators has to be provided in sufficient numbers, for which th CM had earlier requested ₹3,000 crore and the same may be sanctioned.

Tamil Nadu may be allocated ₹9,000 crore grant for combating Covid19 and its aftermath on the State’s economy.

Moreover, the fiscal deficit limits of 3 per cent of GSDP may be increased to 4.5% for financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Additional borrowing of 33 per cent above the permitted level for fiscal year 2019-20, may be allowed for 2020-21 for combating this pandemic. 50 per cent of the 2020-21 Finance Commission grants to the Urban and Rural Local bodies can be released now.

50 per cent of the revenue deficit grant can be released now. The GST compensation due for December- January 2019-20 may be released immediately.

The Ways and Means limit of the States which was increased by 30% by RBI should be doubled and the advances availed in the fiscal year 2020-21 should be made interest-free.

Published on April 11, 2020

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