Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday raised with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of financial distress being faced by his state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking payment of GST compensation dues and allowing of special power to impose a tax on mining.
Soren also requested the prime minister to expedite the return of migrants to their native states, especially Jharkhand, in a safe and secure manner, in the wake of the recent Aurangabad train mishap in which 16 workers were killed, according to sources in the chief minister's office.
He raised the state's concern during the fresh round of consultations between the prime minister and the CMs on ways to strengthen the COVID-19 containment strategy and stepping up of economic activities in a calibrated manner as the 54-day nationwide lockdown nears an end.
In the wake of the reverse migration happening in Jharkhand, Soren called for a 50 per cent increase in the existing MGNREGA labour wages for the next one year, the sources said.
He also stressed on the need to relax the current wage payment norms and ensure payment of MGNREGA workers on a daily basis, they said.
Soren also called for at least 50 per cent increase in the approved labour budget or person days by the Ministry of Rural Development for the fiscal year 2020-2021.
State governments are liable to pay unemployment allowance under MGNREGA.
In the present context, the chief minister requested the prime minister to allow payment of unemployment allowances to MGNREGA workers from the Centre's share of the MGNREGA project.
In the wake of the depleting revenue and fiscal situation of the state government, the Jharkhand chief minister urged the central government to pay the GST compensation dues to the state at the earliest
He called for allowing special powers to the state government to impose special tax on mining.
Soren also called for providing a moratorium period of one year to the state government for the loan/debt repayment availed by it from the central government.