New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting various measures to be undertaken in view of the COVID19 pandemic which includes extension of GST payment period and a stipend for the poor and needy during the lockdown period.
Thackeray also suggested that banks may be asked to defer the instalment that are becoming due at least in the first quarter of this financial year. The letter addressed to the prime minister said, the timeline for submitting GST returns for March and April may be extended for three months for small and medium taxpayers.
It also said: In the view of the COVID pandemic in the state, mini lockdown is a necessity. COVID-19 pandemic may be notified as a natural calamity for State Disaster Response Fund. Accordingly, the state may be allowed to pay gratuities relief of ₹100 per adult per day and ₹60 per child per day during the lockdown period to all the Antodaya Anna Yojana and Priority households family members.
The first instalment of SDRF may be released to the state to tide over the financial situation arising out of the COVID pandemic, it said. Further the letter said, many small-scale industries, businesses and startups have taken loans from banks under different GOI schemes and have supported the country in becoming Atmanirbhar in different ways. These today are reeling under the impact of COVID-19 restrictions….. Given the scenario, we must come out with a helping hand for their survival.
It is requested that the banks may be asked to defer the instalment that are becoming due at least in the first quarter of this financial year, the letter also said. Meanwhile, to tackle the pandemic situation in the state, the government announced a curfew on Tuesday which limits public activities to a bare minimum. The state has only allowed essential workers to venture out and has even shut non-essential businesses. E-commerce companies have also been limited to sell essential goods only.
While the move might benefit, the state in terms of sheer number of new cases, migrants have been lining up in railway stations and bus stops, worrying about a situation similar to last year after a nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The state of Maharashtra, worst-affected by the pandemic, has reported 58,952 fresh Covid-19 cases today. The state has recorded 278 deaths in the last 24 hrs as well. The total cases have now reached 35,78,160. Out of the total, 6,12,070 are active cases.