CWC meet: Cong-ruled states CMs hit out at centre

CWC meet: Cong-ruled states CMs hit out at centre

The Chief ministers of Congress-ruled states on Thursday hit out at the central government for not providing financial assistance to them, asking how will the country win the battle against COVID-19 in this time of crisis.

The chief ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh andPuducherry demanded a financial package for the states to deal with theCOVID-19 pandemic.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said unless thecentral government comes forward to financially help states, "fightagainst COVID-19 will get weakened".

"Unless there is a big financial package for states,how will normalcy return to the states post the lockdown," Gehlot said atthe Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting through video conferencing.

"We emphasised on rapid testing but unfortunately thetest kits have failed…There is an urgent need for centralised procurement ofkits, ventilators so that availability, quality and quantity can beassured," he added.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh claimed that resourcesof Rs 4,400 crore of GST have not yet been released by the central government.

"In place of 1 lakh rapid testing kits, we havereceived only 10,000 China-made testing kits and their authenticity is yet tobe tested," he said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said unless theCentre rises to the occasion and provides financial assistance to states, howwill the fight against COVID-19 be won.

Baghel said there is a deep concern in the state over returnof students and migrant workers stuck in other states.

"There needs to be a policy by the central governmentfor return of migrant workers and students. Unfortunately, the centralgovernment is silent on the issue," he said.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the Centre didnot given any assistance to the state.

"How will the state survive in times of crisis…We arenot enemies but have to act, work together," he said at the CWC.

Narayanasamy said the central government has not given themRs 600 crore of GST and Rs 2,200 crore of the Finance Commission's share.

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