The Delhi government has approached the Centre for financial aid to be able to pay salaries to its employees. Having faced major loss of revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak, it has requested the Centre to immediately release Rs 5,000 crore so that it is able to pay its employees.
Even the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has put forth the urgent requirement of financial aid from the Centre in front of the finance minister. Sisodia’s argument is that Delhi should get assistance, just like the other states.
As per calculations, about Rs 3,500 crore would be needed to cover the minimum expenses incurred in disbursing salaries. However, the GST collections in the months of April and May have been merely Rs 500 crore per month. On combining this with other sources, the collection managed until now is Rs 1,735 crore, which will not be enough to cover the expenses of Rs 7,000 crore plus for two months. Therefore, Sisodia has requested financial assistance from the Disaster Relief fund, but is yet to receive a positive response.
The aid will be required to pay the salaries of the teachers, doctors, engineers, civil defence personnel, and people involved in coronavirus relief work, in the Delhi government.
It has been pointed out that Delhi is capable of managing its expenditures under normal circumstances. However, the pandemic has created extraordinary challenges that require financial assistance to counter.
The Delhi government had imposed a ‘special corona fee’ on liquor and also increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel to generate some revenue.