NEW DELHI: Stating that the Delhi government is facing severe revenue crunch due to the ongoing lockdown, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that financial aid from the central government is needed to continue paying salaries to the government employees in the capital.
This is not the first time that Delhi government has voiced its cash crunch to the public. Earlier this month while lifting ban on sale of liquor and increasing taxes on auto fuels, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that if city’s revenues do not rise, the functioning of the government will come to a halt.
“I have written a letter to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in this regard seeking an immediate aid of Rs 5000 crore to help us pay salaries of Delhi government employees.
Other states have received financial assistance from the Disaster Relief Fund, but Delhi government has not received any such aid yet. Even during usual times, Delhi does not receive any sort of aid from the Centre,” said Sisodia.
After addressing an online mealso took to Twitter and requested the central government to help the people of Delhi “in this hour of disaster”.
According to the Delhi government Rs 3,500 crore is the requirement every month to pay salaries to employees and 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, government has managed to collect Rs 1,735 crore bringing the final financial need to around Rs 7,000 crore.
As per finance minister Sisodia, the onetime grant of Rs 5,000 crore will help Delhi tide over the immediate crisis.“As Delhi government’s revenue is severely affected due to the lockdown, it is about time we received some financial relief from the Centre to be able to pay salaries of our teachers, doctors, engineers, civil defence personnel and people involved in coronavirus relief work,” added Sisodia.
Due to decline in revenue collection, Delhi government had earlier this month imposed 70 per cent Special Corona Fee on the maximum retail price of liquor. It had also raised value added tax (VAT) on both petrol and diesel.