Lashing out at the Union Government, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the state had received only Rs 71 crore for fighting Covid-19. Another Rs 4,854 crore received by the state included Rs 2,091 crore (SDRF, share in Central taxes on the recommendation of 14th and 15th Finance Commission), Rs 2,420 crore GST compensation, and Rs 272 crore, he claimed, adding that these were routine transfers under various schemes and it was the right of the state.
Manpreet alleged that the SAD was making false claims that Punjab had received a huge grant from the Union Government as except Rs 71 crore under the National Health Mission, other funds had nothing to do with Covid-19. “As on April 1, the total outstanding GST dues were Rs 6,753 crore, out of which only Rs 2,366 crore has been received till date. The state is still awaiting GST compensation of almost Rs 4,400 crore for the period of December 2019 to March 2020,” the minister said, while talking to media persons after a symbolic protest against the Centre’s “apathy”.
Manpreet said all precautionary measures have been followed for taking care of the pilgrims, students and labourers coming from other states. Urging the public to have sympathy with Covid-19 patients, he said as this disease could infect anyone, patients should not be looked down upon. Meanwhile, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar on Friday waved the Tricolor from his home to raise his voice against the “discrimination” by the Union Government against Punjab.