Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written two letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in respect of its expectations from the Centre to tide over the second wave of coronavirus infections.
In his first letter, Mr. Thackeray has requested Centre to extend the GST deadline by three months as the state has been forced to impose a mini-lockdown to contain the pandemic. Further, the state has asked directions for banks to postpone collections of loan installments without additional interest in respect of small businesses and startups as they may suffer losses due to slackened demand. Appealing for the early release of the first installment of State Disaster Response Fund, the Maharashtra Chief Minister has informed the Centre that it plans to Gratuitous Relief of hundred rupees per day to each adult and sixty rupees per day to every child registered under Antyodaya Scheme and Priority Households during the lockdown period.
In his second letter, the Chief Minister has expressed the possibility of the state recording over 11.9 lakh active infections by the end of this month, which may lead to a projected requirement of 2000 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen. Stating that Maharashtra currently has capacity to produce just 1200 metric tonnes, the rest needs to be procured at the earliest from other states. Mr. Thackeray has requested the services of National Disaster Management Authority in airlifting of oxygen supplies. While welcoming the move to ban the export of Remdesivir, Mr. Thackeray has urged Centre to direct exporting authorities to divert their produce into the domestic market.