Rs 100 Crore Cyclone Nisarga Package "Meagre", Says Devendra Fadnavis

Addressing a press conference, Devendra Fadnavis said the Rs 100 crore announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was "very meagre".

Rs 100 Crore Cyclone Nisarga Package 'Meagre', Says Devendra Fadnavis

Devendra Fadnavis said Uddhav Thackeray government was suffering from action paralysis.(FILE)

Mumbai:

Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday demanded a financial package for areas in Maharashtra that were battered by cyclone ''Nisarga'' which made landfall on June 3.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Fadnavis said the Rs 100 crore announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was "very meagre".

"The need of the hour is to deviate from the standing orders of NDRF and provide financial assistance. When floods ravaged parts of the state last year, my government gave Rs 4,708 crore to Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur and Rs 2,108 crore to Nashik and Konkan," he said.

The Centre had allowed the state raise loans to the tune of Rs 75,000 crore, and the Maharashtra government should raise funds through loans and provide assistance to people, the leader of opposition in the state Assembly said.

Speaking on the coronavirus outbreak, which has hit the state the worst, Mr Fadnavis said testing for the infection was in the range of 10,000 when the capacity was 35,000.

He claimed the state government's "Mission Begin Again" to restart the economy and bring the state back to normalcy was good but it required the support of the entire machinery on the ground.

The former chief minister said the Maharashtra government had announced the taking over of 80 per cent beds in private hospitals to fight the outbreak, but it remained just an announcement as "influential hospitals" had taken themselves out of the scheme.

Mr Fadnavis said the Uddhav Thackeray government was suffering from policy and action paralysis as the three constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, namely Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, were not communicating within themselves.

Queried about Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj's comment that the Centre's lockdown had flattened the economic curve rather than the one related to COVID-19,

Mr Fadnavis said the former was entitled to his opinion but added that "he is an expert in the auto sector and not the medical or COVID field".

Asked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's criticism of the Centre's Rs 20 lakh crore economic package over the lack of direct cash transfer to the poor, the BJP leader said Mr Gandhi had not studied the package well.

"We need to strike a balance between revival of the economy and giving direct cash transfers. The Atma Nirbhar Bharat package does that," Mr Fadnavis claimed.

He also took a swipe at the Shiv Sena which recently criticised the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

"When the Shiv Sena was part of the BJP government, it played the role of opposition. It continues to do that even now. Maharashtra was the first to impose lockdown, and the Sena had claimed the Centre was following the state by imposing lockdown. Now it says the lockdown was not good," he said.

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