The Delhi government has sought Rs 5,000 Cr assistance from the Centre to be able to pay salaries to its employees. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the finance department charge, said the Delhi government requires Rs 3,500 crore per month to pay salaries to its employees and to meet other needs.
In a press conference, Sisodia stated, “However in the 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.”
According to Sisodia, Delhi’s tax revenue has declined by 78% since the national lockdown came into force on March 25.
Sisodia further added, “At this juncture, paying salaries to government employees is our biggest concern. They include doctors, healthcare workers, teachers, etc, who have been leading the fight against the virus. We immediately need Rs. 5,000 crore to pay their salary.”
The Deputy CM stated that he had demanded the same in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, as Delhi did not get anything from the disaster relief fund that was given to other states.
The demand comes as the one-time grant of Rs 5,000 crore will enable the Delhi Govt to tide over the immediate crisis. This will also facilitate the Delhi government in releasing the grants to the (three) municipal corporations in the city which largely depend on the city government to pay salary. Be it businesses or governments, everyone is reeling under the economic impact brought upon by the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts have warned that India’s economy will face its worst recession in 40 years, contracting by at least 5% this fiscal.