Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who has been asserting himself lately, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allocate Rs 9,000 crore special grant to combat Covid-19 and its after effects on the State’s economy.
In his address during Modi’s video-conferencing meet with Chief Ministers, Palaniswami reiterated his earlier request for sanction of Rs 3,000 crore
fund to enhance available medical equipment.
Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enable funds for Covid-19 related relief work. In a video conference with Modi, Tamil Nadu highlighted the immediate need for Rs 3,000 crore in the state’s battle against COVID-19.
“I would like to highlight that Tamil Nadu is continuing its strategy of aggressive, targeted testing and is currently conducting the maximum number of PCR tests in the country. Tamil Nadu presently has 130 labs for COVID testing with 61 government and 69 private lambs, with an average testing capacity of 65,000 tests per day. These tests cost nearly 5 crore rupees a day. I request Government of India to fund 50% of the cost of the PCR tests from the PM-cares fund,” Palaniswami said.
“We have received ₹ 512.64 crore from Centre in 2 tranches under Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness package out of ₹ 712.64 crore allotted to the state. I request this package may be stepped up to ₹ 3,000 crore as my earlier request,” said Palaniswami at a video conference meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“To make up for the shortfall, Tamil Nadu may be allocated ₹ 9,000 crore special grant to combat COVID-19 and its after-effects on the state’s economy. The GST compensation for April-June, 2020 may be released early,” he added.
Recently, Palaniswami opposed the three-language formula in the Centre’s New Education Policy and said Tamil Nadu would continue its two-language policy. It is said that the Union government would consider his request for additional funds to handle Covid-19, though fulfilling his demand is not practically possible considering the financial situation.