Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to change the norms regarding the PM CARES fund and said share weightage for the states should be allotted, considering the number of migrant workers in the respective states.
In an e-mail to the Prime Minister, Vijayan said the fund can now be spent for providing food, shelter, medical, travel facilities to migrant workers, but claims for money spent on all this till now are not being allowed.
“Kerala has 4.85 lakh guest workers and the state government has been a model in providing food and accommodation for them during the pandemic crisis.
But the Centre’s stand that the state will not get the reimbursement of the amount spent in this regard. This clause has to be reviewed,” Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister’s office, in a release said, the share from the PM CARES fund to states is decided on various factors, including 50% weightage for the state’s population as per the 2011 census and 40% weightage for the number of COVID-19 patients till date.
“The amount spent on the welfare of guest workers in the respective states and Union Territories depends on the number of guest workers there.
“Therefore, instead of providing 50% weightage to the population as per the 2011 census, we need a 50% weightage for the number of guest workers in each State and Union Territory,” Vijayan said.
He said the state should be permitted to get “reimbursed the amounts spent on welfare of migrant labourers after the lockdown from the allotted PM CARES Fund”.
Vijayan, however, welcomed the Centre’s initiative to raise the borrowing limit of the states from 3-5% of the Gross State Domestic Product.
“But 1.5% out of this additional 2% is coming with conditionalities. This goes counter to the basic principles of co-operative federalism,” Vijayan said.
States have been allotted money from the PM CARES Fund and Kerala has so far receivedRs 9.65 crore, he said.