New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Raising concern over the proposed decriminalisation of bouncing of cheques, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has advised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman against it.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Aug 12 : In an attempt to assist states effectively address the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre on Wednesday released the fifth instalment of their share of revenue deficit grant, amounting to over Rs 6,000 crore.

The grant had been released for 14 states - Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, and all northeastern states excluding Arunachal Pradesh.

"The government on August 11, 2020 released Rs 6,195.08 crore to 14 states as the fifth equated monthly instalment of the Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. This would provide them additional resources during the Corona crisis," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's office said in a tweet.

The money has been released ahead of schedule and as a special dispensation to meet immediate funding needs of the state governments looking to restore economic activity and minimise losses to its citizens due to disruptions caused by lockdowns.

Of the 14 states, the maximum grant-in-aid in August has gone to Kerala, which has got an amount of 1,277 crore followed by Himachal Pradesh with a revenue deficit grant of Rs 953 crore.

Much of this money is expected to be used by states towards paying the salaries to their staff as sharp fall in tax collections in April and May has already put pressure on their accounts.

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