Allow corporates to donate CSR money to CM's relief fund: Mamata


By NS Desk 11-Apr-2020

Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) Alleging bulldozing of the federal set up, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday demanded that corporates be allowed to donate money from their CSR account to the Chief Minister's emergency relief fund on the lines of such facilities given to them with regard to putting money in the PM-CARES FUND.

"We have raised objection to the present system of allowing corporates to spend money from their CSR account for the PM-CARES Fund whereas such facility was not granted for the CM's emergency relief fund. I called it bulldozing of the federal set up," Banerjee told mediapersons at the state secretariat Nabanna.

Banerjee was briefing the media after attending a video conference where Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with all the Chief Ministers.

"I told them there should not be discrimination and the companies should be allowed to donate money to our relief funds also form their CSR account," she said.

The Chief Minister urged Modi to announce a Rs 10 lakh crore package nationally to enable the states to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I requested him to announce a national economic cum health package of Rs 10 lakh crore for the state governments to combat the situation arising out of the Covid- 19 induced situation," she said.

The Chief Minister said the Centre has so far announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package which was less than one per cent of the GDP.

In contrast, Japan is spending 20 per cent of its GDP in fighting the pandemic, while the figure for the US is 10 per cent.

"Rs 10 lakh crore comes to around six per cent of the GDP. So I have asked for this package, so that all states are benefited," she said.

The Chief Minister also sought a special package for the MSME and the unorganised sectors, and requested that deadlines be relaxed for them for paying licence fees or repaying loans.

She also highlighted the need for package for agro, tourism and drugs sectors.

As for West Bengal, Banerjee repeated her earlier demand for a Rs 25,000 crore worth special package for combating Covid-19 and also sought Rs 36,000 crore pending dues from the Centre.

She said an amount of Rs 2,393 crore is also due to her state from the Centre on account of outstanding GST compensation.

Banerjee also said that long distance passenger trains and international flight operations should not be resumed.

"It was a good meeting. The Prime Minister listened to all the Chief Ministers. I also told him about taking care of the migrant workers," she added.



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