Maharashtra seeks GST refund, says state has lost Rs 35,000 cr battling covid-19
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said that covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown has left the state with a ₹35,000-crore loss and the central government should therefore credit the entire amount in the form of GST refund as soon possible. In addition, GST duty on medical equipment should be waived and customs duty too should be waived as some institutions are importing equipment.
Thackeray also asked the central government to extend the benefit of loan waiver scheme to farmers in the state who did not get it the last time. “In some districts, especially in Vidarbha, the farmers there have not got the benefit of loan waiver. Now the kharif season has begun,” said Thackeray.
Thackeray, following a video conference meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the state has requested the center to allow resumption of suburban railway service in Mumbai but only for those people engaged in essential services and that they should be allowed to travel only by showing their identity cards.
Maharashtra has been the worst-hit state in India with over 18,000 positive covid-19 cases recorded so far. The state has provided refuge, food and other facilities to close to 5.5 lakh migrant workers.
The chief minister said that the movement of migrant workers has started but while allowing so, every state needs to take proper care otherwise corona infection could spread across the country.
“The prime minister should show a definite and concrete direction regarding the lockdown. We are implementing it in all the states,” he said, adding that everyone has been stuck for the last two months.
“Migrant workers have a craving for home. Maharashtrians from other states are returning. These workers are coming and going through different zones… everyone should take proper care, otherwise the country is at risk of increasing the infection,” said Thackeray.
“You prevented the outbreak of corona in April. It is now said that the disease will reach its peak in May, it may also occur in June and July. I feel that the outbreak of corona started again in Wuhan. The World Health Organization has also issued a warning,” said Thackeray to the PM Modi, while hoping that the lockdown would be dealt with carefully.
While easing the lockdown to some extent, Thackarey said that businesses could be started in the green zones in the state. The lockdown was supposed to be lifted from 17 May.
Thackeray also said that it would be useful for companies to take steps to promote corona inhibitors.
The chief minister suggested that a force of expert doctors should be formed at the national level and they should be kept in touch through video conferencing.
Thackeray demanded more manpower from the center to tackle the covid-19 situation in Maharashtra. “Central teams have visited Mumbai-Pune and made useful suggestions. We will extend full cooperation doctors, medical staff, police are working day and night. In particular, the police need to be rested from time to time, they have law and order work, they should not fall ill. So if the central government provides their manpower as required, the stress on the police in the state will be reduced. Similarly, central institutions, port trusts, army hospitals and ICU beds will also be used to fight corona,” he said.
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