In meeting with PM Modi, states seek more funds to tackle Covid-19; some ask for removal of spending cap
The chief ministers of various states asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove the cap on spending funds from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease and other things.
The requests were made during a video conference between PM Modi and chief ministers of various states which was held to discuss the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that the current cap of 35 per cent in SDRF for Covid-19 related expenditure, as per the guidelines of the Union home ministry, doesn’t allow the state governments to tackle the pandemic effectively.
He also sought a liberal financial package for states to fill the collection gap caused by the pandemic, and also flexibility on Covid-related terms of expenditure in SDRF, news agency ANI reported quoting a statement from the chief minister’s office.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami asked for an additional ad-hoc grant. “As we have already fully exhausted State Disaster Response & Mitigation fund, I also request an ad-hoc grant of ₹1,000 crore from NDRF immediately to fight pandemic,” Palaniswami said at the meeting, according to ANI.
The demand to remove cap from SDRF was made by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan too during a meeting with PM Modi on the flood situation.
Apart from Tamil Nadu and Punjab, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also attended the meeting on Tuesday.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh was also present in the review meeting.
PM Modi has held several meetings with the chief ministers over the Covid-19 situation after the announcement of the first lockdown in March this year.