The Delhi government has sought financial assistance from the Centre to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees. In a tweet, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “I request the Central government to help the people of Delhi in this time of trouble”.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said he has requested for the Rs 5,000 crore assistance as Delhi did not get anything from the disaster relief fund that was given to other states.
Delhi needs Rs 3,500 crore a month to pay its employees’ salaries and meet other needs.
“However in past two months, our GST collection has been only Rs 500 crore each month. We need at least Rs 7,000 crore to be able to pay salaries to our employees many of whom are discharging frontline duties against the coronavirus epidemic,” he told the media in a virtual press conference.
Mr Kejriwal had earlier made it clear that Delhi is strapped for revenue — a reason why had also advocated the opening of the economy. In early May, before the lockdown4 was announced, he said Delhi was “ready to lift the lockdown”.
In line with the Central guidelines, the national capital has announced several relaxations, especially in the areas that have not seen any coronavirus cases. The number of containment areas in Delhi, though, is huge. The sprawling city has more than 120 containment zones.
The number of coronavirus cases Delhi crossed the 18,000-mark on Saturday, as the city recorded the biggest single-day jump in cases — 1,163.
Mr Kejrwial, however, said his government is “four steps ahead of coronavirus”.