New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): The Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states, during a meeting held with party interim president Sonia Gandhi, on Wednesday said states need immediate financial assistance as they have lost crores in revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The meeting was held via video conference to discuss COVID-19 situation and post-lockdown scenario.
Former Prime Minister and party leader Dr Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and other leaders were also present for the video conference.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the states need stimulus packages as they have already lost crores, while Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel asked for immediate financial assistance from the Centre.
"Until extensive stimulus package is given, how will states and country run? We have lost Rs 10,000 crore of revenue. States have repeatedly requested PM for a package but we are yet to hear from government of India," added Gehlot.
Chief Minister Baghel said, "States are facing a dire economic crisis. They need to be provided immediate assistance. Chattisgarh is one state where 80% of small industries have restarted and nearly 85,000 workers have returned to work."
Party leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram claimed that the BJP-led Central government is not allocating money to states despite them struggling with finances.
"States are bleeding in terms of finances but no money is being allocated by GOI. A number of newspapers have brought out the unavailability of finances with States," said Chidambaram.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh questioned the criteria on which the government is classifying areas into different zones.
"We have set up two committees, one to strategise on how to come out of lockdown and other on economic revival. The concern is people sitting in Delhi are deciding on the classification of zones without knowing what's happening on the ground," said Singh.
Puducherry Chief Minister too echoed similar sentiments and said that no state was consulted by the Centre before deciding the zones.
Based on risk profiling of COVID-19 cases, the government has divided areas into Red, Green and Orange zones. As per the government, the list of these zones will be updated by the Centre on a weekly basis or earlier as required.
Relaxations announced in the third phase of lockdown, which began on May 4, is based primarily on the classification of these zones.