The Delhi government has asked for Rs 5,000 financial assistance from the Centre to pay salaries to its employees. In a tweet, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “I request the Central government to help the people of Delhi in this time of trouble”.
While the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the portfolio of Finance Minister said he has requested for the Rs 5,000 crore assistance from the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a letter written to her.
He also tweeted, “Due to Coronavirus and lockdown the tax- collection of the Delhi government is down by 85 per cent. While, Delhi did not get anything from the disaster relief fund that was given to other states by the Centre.”
At a press conference today, Sisodia said that Delhi needs Rs 3,500 crore a month to pay its employees’ salaries and meet other needs.
“However in past two months, our GST collection has been only Rs 500 crore each month. We need at least Rs 7,000 crore to be able to pay salaries to our employees many of whom are discharging frontline duties against the coronavirus epidemic,” Sisodia said.
CM Kejriwal had on Saturday said that the national capital “cannot have a permanent lockdown”, even as he admitted that the city has been witnessing a surge in Coronavirus cases.
“We agree that the city has seen a huge spike in the number of coronavirus cases. But we should not panic. The situation in Delhi would be worrying for me in two scenarios – if the number of deaths increase and if there’s a shortage of hospital beds,” the Chief Minister had said.
“A permanent lockdown is no solution. We have to move on with all the precautions,” Kejriwal added.
Although he termed the rising number of infections as a matter of concern, Kejriwal assured that the government is “fully prepared” and “four steps ahead” of the Coronavirus.
Delhi has so far recorded 18549 positive cases of Coronavirus 10058 active cases with 416 deaths, and thereby is the third worst-hit state in the country.