Punjab CM to take decision on lockdown extension on 30 May

The Punjab government will decide on the future course of action concerning the lockdown in the state on 30 May. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will chair a review meeting with the concerned departments on the overall Covid-19 situation in the state on 30 May and announce the government’s decision on lifting or further extension of lockdown thereafter.

Disclosing this on Wednesday after the Cabinet meeting, an official spokesperson said the Cabinet decided that the decision should be taken after an on-ground assessment of the situation a couple of days before the current lockdown is due to end. Any decision on extension, with or without relaxations, will be taken after the review meeting. Meanwhile, the Punjab government on Wednesday decided to seek a fiscal stimulus of Rs 51,102 crore from the Centre to help the state tide over the financial crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and the prolonged lockdown that ensued. A draft memorandum to this effect was approved by the Council of Ministers, at a meeting chaired by the CM.

The Cabinet also authorized the Chief Minister to make necessary amendments to the draft memorandum before submitting it to the Centre. In addition to the direct fiscal stimulus of Rs 21,500 crore, the state plans to seek a waiver of the long-term CCL debt as imperative for the fiscal recovery of the state government.

Additionally, all Central schemes should be 100 percent funded by the Central government for this fiscal, as per the draft memorandum. According to an official spokesperson, listing health infrastructure as a key priority in the post-Covid scenario, the state proposes Rs 6,603 crore for improvement of public health infrastructure from a long-term perspective.

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