Rajasthan govt slams Centre for lack of financial help to combat COVID-19 crisis

Health Minister of Rajasthan, Raghu Sharma revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi bluntly refused help during the VC with state Chief Ministers recently.

Published: 23rd April 2020 09:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2020 09:07 PM   |  A+A-

Members of a medical team wearing protective gear walk past a coronavirus testing camp. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: Amidst the coronavirus crisis, politics have intensified between BJP led central government and non-BJP ruled states. Rajasthan Government has alleged that the Central Government is not helping them to fight the pandemic efficiently.

Health Minister of Rajasthan, Raghu Sharma revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi bluntly refused help during the video conference with state Chief Ministers recently.

"When our CM asked for help, PM Modi said don't ask us for anything. Moreover, he asked us to not work too as the issue would be dilluted in the newspapers within couple of days," remarked  Raghu Sharma while addressing a regular Press Briefing of AICC in Delhi via video conferenece on Wednesday.

"Please tell us, what do we do?  Modi ji replied when Rajasthan CM Gehlot had sought financial help of 1 lakh crore Rupees for each state. " CM had also asked for the loan limit to be increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent," added Sharma.

This statement by the Health Minister of Rajasthan is now seen as a big attack on Narendra Modi led central government. The current situation has worsened the financial position of the states. There are 14 states currently without the money to pay salary to its employees. "The central government is capable of helping the state governments 14 of which are now in wage and means category. There are 4 states which are in overdrafts with RBI. We want the financial package to revive industries, help farmers and workers along with  MSMEs. This is the only way that the states can generate revenue again through GST and CST," he added.

Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot, commented on the turmoil and said, " whatever suggestions we give fall to deaf ears or they take it as criticism. I urged the PM to give us a package soon to help the people in the lockout and later to revive the economic conditions. I hope the government is working on it." 

Due to the lockdown, Rajasthan has received 18,000 crores less in revenue in the last month.  The state government has deferred 60 per cent of the salaries of about 6 lakh government employees for the month of March.  The example is being set from the top with the CM  and his cabinet taking a 75 per cent cut in their salaries.

But the State BJP unit denies the allegations and say they are baseless. "Gehlot is trying to put the blame on the centre but I want to ask him to release the details of whatever expenditure has been incurred. The public will decide who is telling the truth. The centre has already sent 17,230 crore Rupees along with 40,000 metric tonnes of wheat. The NREGA scheme in the state has received 7100 crore Rupees of last year and 2870 crore Rupees for this year," said Leader of Opposition, Gulab Chand Kataria.

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