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CM Uddhav Thackeray urges PM Modi to declare COVID-19 as natural calamity in Maharashtra

Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported nearly 59,000 new confirmed cases of infection on Wednesday, April 14. As per the state government's health department, the pandemic has claimed 58,804 lives in Maharashtra alone.

CM Uddhav Thackeray urges PM Modi to declare COVID-19 as natural calamity in Maharashtra
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On Thursday, April 15, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking financial assistance from the Centre as the second wave of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in the state.

He requested that the pandemic be declared as a natural calamity so that the state could utilize the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide financial relief to the affected people.

Accordingly, the State may be allowed to pay Gratuitous Relief (GR) of INR 100 per adult and INR 60 per child per day during the period of lockdown to all the Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority House Hold (PHH) family members whose names are included in the AAY and PHH ration cards. They are the ones whose lives are seriously affected due to lockdown.

In his letter, Thackeray urged PM Modi to extend the timeline of the submission of GST returns for the months of March and April by three months for small and medium taxpayers.

The chief minister further mentioned that the Centre may ask banks to defer the instalments that are becoming due at least in the first quarter of the current financial year and that it should be done without charging interest.

Many businesses, start-ups and industries have taken bank loans under different Government of India schemes and have supported the country in becoming ‘Atmanirbhar’ in various sectors. The government needs to come out with a helping hand for their survival, he wrote.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported nearly 59,000 new confirmed cases of infection on Wednesday, April 14. As per the state government's health department, the pandemic has claimed 58,804 lives in Maharashtra alone.

Therefore, he also asked the Centre to direct authorities to grant a compulsory license as per section 92 of the Indian Patents Act 1970. This, said the Chief Minister, will facilitate approval to exporting units to produce and sell anti-viral drug Remdesivir in the domestic market.

In light of the second wave of infections, the state government has imposed strict restrictions for a period of 15 days to break the chain of transmission.

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