New Delhi: Punjab is staring at a “minimum loss” of Rs 50,000 crore this year due to the ongoing COVID -19 lockdown, and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has hinted at some “tough decisions” on taxation for revenue generation.
In an interview to the news agency PTI, Mr Singh said initial estimates suggest job losses in the range of 10 lakh in the state, which was losing Rs 3,000 crore every month on the economic front.
The CM said with some experts predicting a peak in coronavirus pandemic in July and August, Punjab was preparing itself “for the worst”, with the massive influx of migrants and Indian returnees from abroad emerging as the top disease management challenge.
“In April alone, we lost 88 per cent of our estimated revenue due to the lockdown. As per quick estimates, we are losing Rs 3,000 crore a month, and are looking at Rs 50,000 crore minimum in losses for the full year,” the CM told PTI.
Noting that the financial situation is “extremely critical”, Mr Singh said he has already asked all the ”non-essential” departments to cut down on expenses and manage their costs judiciously.
“But, that is obviously not enough, so we will have to take some tough decisions,” he said referring to fresh taxation measures.
He said discussions are in progress and the state is mulling various options and will take a decision in the next couple of days.
Mr Singh called for an urgent economic package for the states, saying with no GST, excise duty or VAT coming from transportation, all resources have dried up.