Coronavirus Crisis: Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar demands ₹25,000 crore package from centre

Pawar, state's Finance Minister, sought the funds in a letter written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Centre’s state in-charge Nitin Gadkari and Prakash Javadekar while also asking the centre to clear dues of ₹16,654 crore.

Coronavirus Crisis: Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar demands  ₹25,000 crore package from centre
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Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister on Monday wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking ₹25,000 crore for the state amid the ongoing health and economic crisis emerging due to the coronavirus outbreak which has claimed 32 lives across the country. Of the 32 deaths in India due to the coronavirus or COVID-19, 10 are from Maharashtra. 

Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio in Maharashtra, sought the funds in a letter written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Centre’s state in-charge Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar while also asking the centre to clear dues of ₹16,654 crores. 

The central government is yet to release the Goods and Services Tax of Maharashtra which amounts to ₹16,654 crores. Pawar demanded the same to be released before March 31 given the economic crisis amid the nationwide lockdown which has been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

In his letter, Ajit Pawar stated that the 21-days lockdown has brought the industry, trade and service sector to a standstill and the last month of the financial year increases the money in the state treasury. However, due to the coronavirus crisis and the lockdown, the state’s income has completely stopped, causing a major economic crisis. 

“The coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown has affected the business activities including industries, trade and service sector which has come to a standstill. It has a major effect on the state’s income,” the letter read. 

Of the ₹16,654 crore dues related to GST, ₹1,687 crores in the state’s share in central taxes and ₹14,654 is the various grants given to the state by the central government. 

As of March 31, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has risen to 230 while in Mumbai the number has increased to 92. The death toll in Maharashtra has increased to 10 while in India the number of deaths has soared up to 32. 

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