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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Rs 15,321 crore including a special grant of Rs 9,000 crore to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the video conference meet of Modi with several Chief Ministers, Palaniswami also told the Prime Minister that the central government should bear 50 per cent of the Covid-19 test cost of Rs 5 crore incurred by the state per day.

“Both Central and State tax revenue will fall short of the budget estimates. To make up for the shortfall, Tamil Nadu may be allocated 9,000 crore rupees special grant to combat Covid-19 and it’s after effects on the State’s economy,” Palaniswami said.

Pointing out that the Tamil Nadu government has received Rs 512.64 crore from the Centre in two tranches under the Emergency Response Health Systems Preparedness package out of the allotted Rs 712.64 crore, Palaniswami urged that the package be increased to Rs 3,000 crore.

“As we have already fully exhausted the State Disaster Response and Mitigation Fund, I also request an ad-hoc grant of 1,000 crore rupees from NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) immediately to fight the pandemic. Releasing a pending CMR (custom milled rice) subsidy of 1,321 crore rupees at this time will facilitate paddy procurement,” Palaniswami told Modi.

In order to revive the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in the state, Palaniswami urged Modi to instruct the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to provide at least Rs 1,000 crore as refinance facility to the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited from the Reserve Bank of India special packages.

The special loan product for Covid-19 for self-help groups should be implemented by all banks with an enhanced loan amount of at least Rs 200,000 per group and with enhanced interest subvention, Palaniswami told Modi.

Welcoming Modi’s announcement of extending the free supply of rice and channa dal to the priority households, Palaniswami informed the Prime Minister that channa dal is not part of the staple diet of the people of Tamil Nadu.

“Based on my earlier letter to you in this regard, I request you to release 55,637 MT of toor dal to the state for distribution till November,” Palaniswami said.

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