Covid – 19
Press Release No.263 Date: 11.04.2020
Hon’ble Chief Minister’s Speech
in the Video Conference Meeting with
Hon’ble Prime Minister
Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Hon’ble Defence Minister,
Hon’ble Home Minister,
Chief Ministers and Officers,
At the outset, I thank you for your support and guidance in tackling the COVID-19 Challenge. I have taken the following steps and would like to make some suggestions.
♦ A Task Force headed by the Chief Secretary,and 12 teams headed by senior IAS officers are recommending various steps to arrest the spread of the virus and handling the infected people on which I am issuing immediate direction.
♦ Lockdown is implemented strictly.
♦ Train and flight services should not be resumed. I appeal to Hon’ble Prime Minister and other Chief Ministers not to allow inter State passengers movement.
♦ I request smooth supply of essential commodities like Dhal, Spices, etc., from other States through Railways and facilitate inter-State movement of these goods through lorries.
♦ I would like to request you that at this hour of prolonged lockdown, we should not allow a food crisis in the country. Sir, we should give total support to agriculture and I request you
to announce a special package for Agriculture and Horticulture promotion.
♦ If the lockdown is extended, I request an additional funding as well as allotment of essential commodities to support the unorganised sector workers, agricultural labourers etc. They may be provided 2,000/- rupees per family.
♦ Around 2.10 lakh international passengers screened and 93,146 of them are under home quarantine for 28 days.
♦ Massive disinfection of all public places is being done by all Local Bodies, regularly.
♦ Health Department has identified 32,371 isolation beds, 5,934 ICU beds in Government and private sector so far.
♦ As on date 8410 samples have been tested, 1891 persons have been isolated.
♦ As on date 911 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in Tamil Nadu. The residential area of these persons identified as positive have been brought under a containment plan, in which the entire area of 5 km radius is cordoned off and door to door survey is being done on a war footing to contain the spread.
♦ Testing of the contacts have to be done immediately for which I require rapid test kits. I have written to the Hon’ble Union Health Minister to provide 2 lakh test kits to Tamil Nadu.
♦ 21 Government hospitals and 155 private hospitals have been notified to provide treatment for the infected people.
♦ Presently the State has 12 Government facilities and 7 private labs for COVID testing. This needs to be increased by having atleast one per district.
♦ An immediate relief package of 3,280 crore rupees was sanctioned by me and we have provided 1000 rupees per family to nearly 2 crore families, along with free ration commodities. All registered street vendors, all unorganized sector labourers, construction workers, auto drivers were provided with an additional 1,000 rupees.
♦ Migrant labourers who were stranded in Tamil Nadu, are being taken care by providing stay, free ration and cooked food.
♦ Daily, we are providing subsidized food to around 6 lakh poor through Amma Canteen.
I WOULD LIKE TO PLACE THE FOLLOWING REQUESTS TO THE HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER FOR KIND CONSIDERATION.
♦ PCR and rapid test kits should be supplied by Government of India in large quantities immediately. PPEs, N-95 Masks, and ventilators has to be provided in sufficient numbers, for which I had earlier requested 3,000 crore rupees and the same may be sanctioned.
♦ Tamil Nadu may be allocated 9,000 crore rupees grant for launching a comprehensive plan for combating COVID-19 and its aftermath on the State’s economy.
♦ Moreover, the fiscal deficit limits of 3% of GSDP may be increased to 4.5% for financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21.
♦ Additional borrowing of 33% above the permitted level for fiscal year 2019-20, may be allowed for 2020-21 for combating this pandemic.
♦ 50 per cent of the 2020-21 Finance Commission grants to the Urban and Rural Local bodies can be released now. 50 per cent of the revenue deficit grant can be released now. The GST compensation due for December- January 2019-20 may be released immediately.
♦ The Ways and Means limit of the States which was increased by 30% by RBI should be doubled and the advances availed in the fiscal year 2020-21 should be made interest-free.
♦ I thank the Hon’ble Prime Minister for releasing of 510 crore rupees under SDRF. The 15th Finance Commission methodology has resulted in Tamil Nadu getting only 64.65% increase under SDRF, while for other States, it is 120.33%. Sir, Tamil Nadu has been facing many Natural disasters continuously over the years namely, Vardah in 2016, severe drought followed by Ockhi cyclone in 2017, Gaja cyclone in 2018 and still got lesser allocation under SDRF. I also request an adhoc grant of 1000 crore rupees from NDRF immediately to procure medical and protective material.