New Delhi: As 32 positive cases were reported in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought financial assistance of Rs 25,000 crore. Also Read - Watch | Mamata Draws Social Distancing Circles on Roads. Viral Video Wins Praise
She asked for the financial assistance from the Centre to fulfil the state government’s commitments of providing free ration to the people and continuing other welfare schemes amid the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Also Read - ‘Provide Basic Amenities to Workers From Bengal,’ Mamata Writes to 18 Chief Ministers Amid Lockdown
In the letter, she said that the West Bengal government needs assistance from the Centre to cope with the unprecedented impasse to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - 'Why March 22, Close International Flights to India Immediately,' Mamata Banerjee in Video Conference With PM Modi
“Our state finances like that of many other states, is in a dire situation with practically no revenue flows after the closure of all businesses. Despite this, we have somehow been able to pay the salaries, wages and pensions of government employees this month though some major states of the country could not do that on full. And even with the massive debt trap left behind by the previous government, we were able to service the debt so far, but future remains uncertain,” Mamata said in the letter to PM Modi.
She also added that the state is required to meet the commitments towards girl child, students, farmers, unorganised workers, weaker sections, minorities, SC, ST and OBCs. “We are also having to honour our commitments of providing free ration to almost 9 crore people, who need this so crucially to survive in this perilous time,” she wrote in the letter.
In the letter, she also said that the Centre should sanction Rs 25,000 crore to West Bengal and also release the other funds due to the state.
“The Centre has already reduced their devolution to our state by over Rs 11,000 crore and were yet to pay Rs 36,000 crore owed by the GoI (Government of India) to our state,” she said in the letter.
As per latest updates, the state has witnessed four deaths so far due to the coronavirus, while 10 new cases were reported on Wednesday.
In West Bengal, a total of 1,03,391 people are under home isolation in various parts of the state, while the total number of positive cases stands at 32.