Shillong: Northeast Indian state Meghalaya, currently facing a cash-crunch in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, has been allowed to borrow Rs 194 crore from the market by the Centre. The department of expenditure, the ministry of finance has also granted permission to 20 states to raise an additional amount of Rs 68,825 crore through open market borrowings.
The additional borrowing permission has been granted at the rate of 0.50 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to states that have opted for option one out of the two options suggested by the finance ministry to meet the shortfall arising out of GST (goods and services tax) implementation. The shortfall in GST was witnessed at the end of the COVID-19 triggered lockdown, which led to a huge economic downturn across the country.
Meanwhile, 20 states, including Meghalaya, have given their preferences for 'option one' of the Finance Ministry, while eight states are yet to exercise an option.
Earlier, Meghalaya's Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had said that Rs. 399 was spent in order to fight the COVID-19. Health Minister AL Hek, who is the lone BJP representative in the state cabinet last Wednesday urged the Prime Minister's Office to urgently release funds for enabling the state to tackle COVID-19 by releasing more funds.