Relax utilisation of emergency relief grants: Punjab CM
Chandigarh: To combat the COVID-19 crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to amend the conditions for utilisation of the 14th Finance Commission grants for emergency relief in urban areas.
Seeking personal intervention of the Union Finance Minister, Amarinder Singh asked her to advise the Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Panchayati Raj to initiate immediate action in this regard so that the grants could be used to make provision of emergency relief for the poor.
The Urban Local Bodies Department and the Panchayati Raj Institutions should be allowed to utilize grants received under 14th Finance Commission for emergency provision of relief to mitigate the suffering caused in towns and villages due to the lockdown, said the Chief Minister.
In his letter, he pointed out the Punjab government had recently allowed Urban Local Bodies Department to use these funds for fumigation of urban areas.
Pleading the state's case, the Chief Minister said emergency relief like medicines and food should also be allowed to ease the stress on the state's resources and provide much-needed relief immediately to the most deserving at the grassroots.
The Chief Minister said both the urban and rural local self-government institutions have unspent funds available which could be immediately utilized for provision of relief by way of food and medicines to the poor.