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Revenue loss making difficult for govt to pay salaries: Kejriwal

Revenue loss making difficult for govt to pay salaries: Kejriwal
May 04
12:33 2020

NEW DELHI: Reporting a revenue loss of about Rs 3,200 crore in April compared to the previous year, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the lockdown is making it difficult for the government to pay salaries to its employees.

Speaking to the media, Kejriwal said the Delhi government will implement the Central government’s latest guidelines on lockdown relaxations. “Every year in April, the estimated revenue generation is Rs 3,500 crores, and this year, it is just Rs 300 crore. It is making difficult for the government to pay salaries,” Kejriwal said.

He said that the lockdown was necessary as without it, the situation would have taken a drastic turn. “The country was not ready to deal with COVID, there were insufficient PPE kits, people did not realize the importance of social distancing protocol.”

However, the Chief Minister said Delhi is now ready to open the lockdown as the Centre marked all the 11 districts in the city as red zones. “The whole of Delhi is in the red zone. All the guidelines have been followed until now, but because the whole of Delhi is in the red zone, people are losing their employment, traders are suffering losses because of no businesses, and the whole economy is disturbed. We will not be able to continue this for long because of no revenue generation due to the lockdown.”

Kejriwal also said that Delhi is fully ready for the lockdown to be lifted, and has requested the Central government to lift the lockdown other than the 97 containment zones. “Today is the last day of the second phase of the nation-wide lockdown. While the lockdown has been extended for another two weeks, some restrictions have been lifted.”

The Delhi Chief Minister said the government has deliberated on this and has decided that it will permit the lifting of all the restrictions as decided by the Central government. “The lockdown period should have been used to prepare ourselves for the fight against Corona. We cannot say that Corona will leave our nation or we will have no Corona cases further. We will have to live with it, but along with preparation to deal with it.”

Kejriwal said Delhi is ready to face Corona, and has developed adequate infrastructure and necessary PPE kits. “We have suggested the Central government to seal 97 containment zones in Delhi and declare all the other parts of Delhi as green zones. We can also operate shops in those green zones on an odd-even basis. We hope that markets will start operating soon in Delhi.”

He said the removal of the lockdown may cause a rise in the number of cases, but the government is ready to deal with the situation.

The Delhi government has also issued an order on Sunday allowing all the relaxations given by the Centre in the red zones from Monday. So far, more than 4,000 cases have been reported in Delhi.

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