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Congress demands relief for business, more funds for states, extensive tests to prevent spread of virus

“It is imperative that the poor, landless workers, farmers, industrial workers, tribals and other highly vulnerable sections of our population have the first right on state resources,” Singh said and called for “extraordinary fiscal measures” while suggesting six specific relief measures for trade and business.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 11.56 PM IST
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Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi demanded that the Centre pass on to states a share of profits earned from high domestic prices of diesel/petrol.
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New Delhi: The Congress leadership has pitched for relief to state governments and the industry amid demand of states for more central funds to combat Covid-19 and post-lockdown issues. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh sought six specific relief measures for the industry and trade for meeting demands for making sacrifices to keep the engines of economy running and ensuring production and jobs are not lost.

“It is imperative that the poor, landless workers, farmers, industrial workers, tribals and other highly vulnerable sections of our population have the first right on state resources,” Singh said and called for “extraordinary fiscal measures” while suggesting six specific relief measures for trade and business.

His specific demands were “all commercial electricity bill be cut to half for next three months; companies be allowed to retain 50% of GST payable for the next 12 months; waiver of interest payments for next six months; all EMIs to banks and NBFC be put on hold for six months with no levy of interest on late payment; employee share of PF and ESIC not be paid by companies but borne by the government for six months; property tax for FY2020-21 be reduced to half for all commercial properties.”

Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi demanded that the Centre pass on to states a share of profits earned from high domestic prices of diesel/petrol.

“The Rs 1.7 lakh crore you have suppo-sedly given to the states over the Coronavirus issue is just 0.5% of your GDP. Given you have accumulated this Rs 20 lakh crore over the past six years by selling petrol and diesel at a much higher prices compared to the very low international crude oil price, why can’t you pass on at least 5% of GDP for this fight?”

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra called upon the people to raise their voices for government conducting more tests, saying that was the way to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Test as much as possible and treat — this should be our mantra.

My request to all of you is to raise your voice for more testing,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted.
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