Pun­jab suf­fered 88% rev­enue loss in April, Capt tells So­nia

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: Pun­jab chief min­is­ter Capt Amarinder Singh on Wed­nes­day pegged the state’s rev­enue loss at 88% in April as all tax in­come dried up and only 1.5% of the in­dus­try was op­er­a­tional.

Paint­ing a gloomy pic­ture of the state fi­nances, Amarinder, who was par­tic­i­pat­ing in a video con­fer­ence of chief min­is­ters of Congress-ruled states with party pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi, said the state was fac­ing a dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion which was com­pounded by ab­sence of aid from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Dr Man­mo­han Singh and for­mer Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi also at­tended the VC.

Amarinder in­formed them that as against the es­ti­mated rev­enues of Rs 3,360 crore for April, only Rs 396 crore were re­ceived and the state’s power con­sump­tion had also de­clined by 30% with a daily loss of Rs 30 crore in col­lec­tion of elec­tric­ity tar­iff to the Pun­jab State Power Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd (PSPCL).

The state’s GST ar­rears of Rs 4,365.37 crore were also yet to be paid by the Cen­tre, he said.

The CM said the group of ex­perts con­sti­tuted un­der Mon­tek Singh Ah­luwalia to for­mu­late post-Covid strat­egy for eco­nomic re­vival would sub­mit its ini­tial re­port in three months in all like­li­hood and then take another month to fi­nalise the same. Amarinder was of the opin­ion that the de­ci­sion on clas­si­fi­ca­tion of zones as red, or­ange or green should be left to the states, which, in turn, could au­tho­rise the deputy com­mis­sion­ers to de­mar­cate as per the ground re­al­i­ties. The CM also warned of high risk of spread of in­fec­tion in the state from those re­turn­ing to Pun­jab es­pe­cially the work­ers com­ing back from the Gulf in crowded ships. “Four ships of mi­grants, mostly labour­ers, are ex­pected to ar­rive in the next few days, while the first plane with NRIs is ex­pected to reach Pun­jab on Thurs­day,” he said. ‘All per­sons com­ing back will be kept in quar­an­tine for about one week un­til they have been tested for the virus,” he said.


The Pun­jab gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day ex­tended the tim­ing for open­ing of shops from 7am to 3pm.

The new or­ders will be ap­pli­ca­ble from Thurs­day. The or­der in this re­gard was sent by ad­di­tional chief sec­re­tary (home) to all the deputy com­mis­sion­ers, who have been asked to en­sure that there is no over­crowd­ing out­side shops.

Banks will con­tinue to re­main open for pub­lic deal­ing from 9am to 1pm.

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