Other States

Mamata seeks more Central funds to fight COVID-19

Weste Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee interacts with PM Modi through video conference, in Kolkata on July 27, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release more funds to contain the COVID-19 situation in the State.

During the videoconference in which state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing facilities were inaugurated in Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida, Ms. Banerjee said the financial burden on West Bengal was growing. She said the State had already spent ₹25,000 crore to combat the pandemic, and from the National Health Mission (NHM), the State had received ₹125 crore.

“I would request the Prime Minister that about ₹53,000 crore is pending with the Centre. I have been trying this for six months. If you can release the funds of the State pending with the Centre, then we can work well,” she said.

GST share

The Chief Minister said the State’s GST share of compensation (for April to June) of ₹4,135 crore had also not been released. Ms. Banerjee also raised the issue of FRBM relaxation from 3 to 5%. She pointed out that 0.5% was without any conditions and the remaining 1.5% was conditional.

“We request that the FRBM relaxation of remaining 1.5% may also be made automatic and unconditional and released to the States in next three quarters,” Ms. Banerjee said.

UGC directive

The Chief Minister raised the issue of the University Grants Commission directive of having terminal examination for final year students and said that in such a situation students would be under stress. Ms. Banerjee reminded the Prime Minister that she had written a letter to him in this regard on July 11.

She thanked Mr. Modi for opening the test facility and added that the State needed more such labs. The Chief Minister said the State was doing 16,000 tests a day and wanted to increase it to 25,000 tests a day by August 15.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:35:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mamata-seeks-more-central-funds-to-fight-covid-19/article32207464.ece

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