Centre biased against Maha over COVID-19 aid: Minister

Mumbai: Maharashtra Minister Yashomati Thakur on Thursday accused the Centre of giving step-motherly treatment to Mumbai and the state in providing financial help to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Thakur, who is also the working president of the state Congress, alleged that the Centre was deliberately biased against Maharashtra in the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced last week.

The minister for Women and Child Welfare also accused the Centre of trying to shift all important businesses from Mumbai to Gujarat using coronavirus as an excuse and said her party was determined to defeat the move, which she termed as “devious”.

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“Mumbai is the financial capital of the country and a leading contributor to its GDP. Despite this, Mumbai, which is the worst city amid the pandemic, is being ignored by the Centre,” Thakur said in a statement.

The Centre was expected to pay special attention to the country’s financial capital and was expected to give special provisions to the city in the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced last week, she said.

“Recently, the Centre shifted the International Financial Services Centre from Mumbai to Gujarat. Even now, it is deviously planning to shift industries in Mumbai to GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-city), a new town near Ahmedabad,” the minister said.

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Thakur went on to say that the state government was working hard to contain the spread of COVID-19 and restart industries and businesses in the city. But it needed the Centre’s support.

The Centre needs to make special financial provisions to expand medical services in Mumbai to control the spread of coronavirus, she said, demanding that a special financial package must to announced for Mumbai to recover from the pandemic.

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