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Punjab seeks Rs 80,845 cr aid to tide over Covid-19 crisis - Chandigarh News

Chandigarh, June 15 (IANS) Pointing to distress caused to the state by the Covid-19 pandemic, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, here on Monday, sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking Rs 80,845 crore aid.

Updated Jun 15, 2020 12:22 PM

Punjab seeks Rs 80,845 cr aid to tide over Covid-19 crisis - Chandigarh News

To save lives and secure livelihood, he also sought non-fiscal assistance, like waiver of long-term CCL debt, upward revision of capital outlay and targets under MGNREGA, and other major flagship programmes of the Centre, such as Smart City Programme, AMRUT, new National Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme, and revamp of the Inter-state Migrant Workers Act.

The Centre's urgent intervention was needed to avert any major socio-economic upheaval and also to assure the next generations of safe living and security of livelihood, he said.

In his memorandum, Singh drew Modi's attention to the administrative, structural and statutory changes to ensure safety and security of people given that the pandemic was here to stay for some time.

The new normal had necessitated changes and repurposing in government programmes to meet the challenges, he added.

"The Punjab government, despite all-out efforts to contain Covid-19 in keeping with the Centre's guidelines, feels states alone can't meet the new challenges, and therefore in the true spirit of cooperative federalism needs the Union government to aid and assist them in an unusually big way, which the country has never seen since Independence in 1947," the Chief Minister said.

A direct Rs 26,400 crore stimulus and waiver of the long-term CCL debt were necessary for the state's fiscal recovery, he said. Also, all central schemes should be 100 per cent funded by the Centre in FY21, he added.

Listing out the areas of urgent assistance, the Chief Minister said improvement in the state's public health infrastructure from a long-term perspective had been estimated at a cost of Rs 6,603 crore.

To contain the COVID-19 contagion in rural areas, Rs 5,068 crore would be required for liquid and solid waste management, upward revision of capital outlay and targets under MGNREGA from Rs 767 crore to Rs 2,413 crore, the Chief Minister said and added, Rs 6,714 crore was required for this sector.

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