The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday sought a special assistance of Rs 4,000 crore from the Centre to implement measures to tackle COVID19, saying the state's revenues have "also taken a hit" in this unprecedented situation.
Therefore, as a one-time measure, the fiscal deficit limit of three per cent of Gross State Domestic Product may be relaxed for financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Detailing the various steps taken by his government in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus, he said more resources were needed to "face the projected number of cases effectively".
The 21-day lockdown announced by Modi on Tuesday "will add to the huge strain that the economy of the state has already been put under", he said, referring to his government's Rs 3,280-crore relief package that includes supply of free ration commodities and Rs 1,000 per family for loss of wages.
"Keeping in view the urgency of the tasks on hand to meet the challenges of tackling the COVID 19 pandemic and to support the Government of Tamil Nadu financially, as it takes massive preventive operations and relieve the considerable hardship placed on the poor, I request you to urgently consider my request for special assistance of Rs 4,000 crore and related financial relief measures expeditiously," the chief minister said.
Tamil Nadu has reported a total of 23 COVID19 cases so far, including one death. A 45-year-old man who tested positive for the virus earlier has been discharged after treatment.
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