The Delhi Government on Sunday said that it has sought help from centre for about Rs 5,000 crore.
Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia also said that he has written to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighting that the lockdown has heavily eroded the revenue collections of the state.
“We have reviewed Delhi Government’s minimum expenses. According to that, we would need around Rs 3,500 crore every month to pay salaries to our employees and to meet other office expenses. The GST collections in the past two months have only been Rs 500 crore, and after combining it with other sources, we have managed to collect Rs 1,735 crore. But we actually need at least Rs 7,000 crore,” Sisodia said while addressing a digital press conference.
“I have written a letter to the Hon’ble Union Finance Minister in this regard seeking an immediate aid of Rs 5,000 crore to help us pay off salaries of the Delhi Govt. employees. Other states have received financial assistance from the Disaster Relief fund, but the Delhi government has not received any such aid yet. Even during usual times, Delhi does not receive any sort of aid from the Centre. But now as Delhi government's revenue is severely affected due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, it is about time we received some financial relief from the Centre to be able to pay salaries of our employees- teachers, doctors, engineers, civil defence personnel, and people involved in coronavirus relief work,” he added.
In this letter to the Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman dated May 26, Sisodia wrote that that “the government of NCT of Delhi has been managing all its development and infrastructure expenditure within its means. For the financial year 2020-21, the Delhi Legislative Assembly has passed the budget of Rs 65,000 crore. Out of which, Rs 35,500 crore constitutes committed expenditure towards establishment, devolution to Local Bodies and interest & loan repayment liability to Government of India. In the normal course, Delhi is not only confident in managing its budgetary requirement but also results in budgetary surplus. However, due to the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country as well as the world, due to COVID 19 pandemic, there is a valid need for immediate help from the Centre. The one time grant of Rs 5000 crore will thereby help Delhi tide over the immediate crisis. This will also facilitate the Delhi Govt. in releasing the grants to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi who largely depend on the Delhi Govt to pay salary and other establishment.”
According to the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, the Delhi government has also upgraded its hospitals to tackle COVID-19. PPEs, ventilators, testing kits, N-95 masks and sanitizers have been made available.
Apart from providing cooked food, free ration and shelter to the needy, the Delhi government has also been working tirelessly to send migrant workers back to their homes through Special Shramik trains. The Delhi government is als bearing the cost of their tickets and traveling expenses, Sisodia wrote.