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Declare covid epidemic a natural disaster, CM’s letter to PM

Transporting oxygen by air, also a request for remedicavir availability

Mumbai: Against the backdrop of oxygen shortage in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to provide oxygen from the air and also to sanction sanugraha from the state disaster response fund to the poor and vulnerable people during the lockout period by declaring the Kovid epidemic a natural disaster.

Regarding oxygen, the Chief Minister said that a large number of tests are being conducted in the state and a large number of patients are being found. By April 30, the number is expected to reach 11.9 lakh. Last year, in September 2020, there were 10.5 lakh active patients in the country. With 5.64 lakh active patients in the state today, the shortage of oxygen for medical purposes is a matter of concern.

Today, the state needs more than 1,200 metric tons of oxygen. By the end of April, the demand for oxygen could reach 2,000 metric tons per day. While the central government has approved to take oxygen from steel projects in the eastern and southern parts of the country, we are also providing oxygen from local and surrounding places. However, in order to save time, urgent action needs to be taken under the National Disaster Management Act to divert this oxygen by other means, mainly by air.

Remedies should be made available
Expressing gratitude for the decision to suspend export of remedicivir, Chief Minister Thackeray said that under section 92 of the Indian Patent Act, 1970, exporters of these drugs should be given permanent licenses so that they can sell remedicivir in the local market.

Financial assistance to poor and priority families
The Chief Minister also requested the state government to declare Kovid contagion as a natural calamity under the State Disaster Response Fund and allow the state government to provide Rs 100 per day per adult and Rs 60 per day per child to the ration card holders of Antyodaya Anna Yojana and priority groups during the lockout period. .

The Chief Minister said that the first installment of the Centre’s share in the SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund) should also be received immediately so as to help the economic situation created in the covid encounter.

About non-payment of loan installments
Many small scale industries, start-ups, businesses have taken loans from banks in various schemes of the Central Government. In the current situation, they are suffering. Restrictions are also putting financial strain on them. In view of this, the Chief Minister also said that in the first quarter of the current financial year, instructions should be given to the banks not to accept installments from them.

GST refund should be extended
The Chief Minister has also demanded that the March-April GST refund period be extended for another three months as small traders and industries are facing difficulties due to Kovid infection.
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