Sitharaman to discuss states’ financial issues with Finance Ministers

Guwahati: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would soon discuss the states’ financial affairs with their Finance Ministers through video link, Assam’s Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here on Monday.

“The Finance Minister told me on Sunday morning that she would discuss the financial affairs of states with their Finance Ministers soon,” Sarma said. Sitharaman assured all possible help from the Centre to states in this time of crisis, he added.

Sarma was addressing the media after launching “Assam Cares” app to provide financial aid to thousands of Assamese stranded in various states due to lockdown.

He said through phones and online platforms, over 4.25 lakh Assamese stranded in other states had been contacted. “Today (Monday) we are extending a one-time ex gratia of Rs 2,000 to 86,000 of the 4.25 lakh people. Another instalment would also be considered during the lockdown,” he said.

He said over 68,000 Assamese were stuck in Karnataka, 36,000 in Tamil Nadu, 34,000 in Kerala, 21,000 in Maharashtra and the rest in other states.

“Through the process of providing financial aid, the government will be able to create database of the stranded people. It will help the state locate them on return to the state after the end of lockdown,” the Assam Minister said.

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