Former PM Manmohan Singh to help Punjab revive post-Covid state economy
State’s post-Covid strategy got operational on Monday with the noted economist and former deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia-led group of experts holding a video conference with the chief ministerUpdated: Apr 27, 2020, 20:45 IST
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has accepted Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s request to guide the state government in restoring the state’s growth and economy once the Covid-19 crisis ends.
State’s post-Covid strategy got operational on Monday with the noted economist and former deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia-led group of experts holding a video conference with the chief minister.“I had written to Dr Manmohan Singh ji to guide us along with a group of experts headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia. I am grateful to him for accepting,” Capt Amarinder tweeted on Monday.
The group of experts has set up five sub-groups — finance, agriculture, health, industry and social aid — and the chairpersons of each group will mobilise workers to take the agenda forward.
Amarinder told the group that the state’s financial situation was grim, with monthly revenue losses to the tune of ₹3,360 crore. This includes losses on account of GST (₹1,322 crore), state excise on liquor (₹521 crore), motor vehicle tax (₹198 crore), VAT on petrol and diesel (₹465 crore), electricity duty (₹243 crore), stamp duty (₹219 crore) and non-tax revenue (₹392 crore).
The state’s cash inflow has dried up, said the CM, adding that power consumption has declined by 30% with a daily loss of ₹ 30 crore in collection of electricity tariff to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd. Punjab’s industry has been shut and the Centre is yet to pay the GST arrears of ₹4,365.3 crore the CM said.
“The Centre had not accepted my government’s request for bonus to incentivise the farmers to bring in their produce in a staggered manner to the mandis, which was essential to check the spread of Covid-19,” said the CM.