Vijayawada: Each day of lockdown costs Rs 170 crore revenue to Andhra Pradesh.

What has worsened the financial situation is Centre’s dilly-dallying tactics about the release Rs 70,000 crore tax returns to the state.

“AP’s deficit is huge. The expenditure of the state has increased multifold since the coronavirus outbreak. The stated procured essential equipment to boost the medical system. Besides, an additional sum of Rs 7000-8000 crore was allocated for ration and pensions to BPL families. The lockdown, however, has severely impacted the pace of economic growth,” S Rajiv Krishna, Advisor to AP government told NewsMeter.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the industry and MSME sector have been adversely impacted.

The CM said the impact on businesses is likely to have a cascading effect across the value chain which may continue even after the lockdown restrictions are eased owing to the global slowdown in demand.

“In Andhra Pradesh, MSMEs employ more than 11 million people and contribute around 7-8% to the GSDP. About 94% of the MSME units in AP are shut, while 6% of the units are operating at 25-30% of their capacity. Of the total 1, 03,986 factories in the state, only 7,250 are working and the rest are shut due to lockdown”, he said.

As a consequence of lockdown, only 50% of the markets are operating across the country. Further, the markets are operating only at 20-30% of their capacity. All this has threatened the livelihood of a major section of the state’s population. Farmers are the most affected.

Likewise, the aquaculture sector is also witnessing a slump. Fish and prawns are ready for harvesting but due to closure of markets in Assam, West Bengal, and Bihar and UP farmers are unable to market their produce.

“Over 700 decentralized procurement centers will be set up near to farmlands across the state. Through these centers Maize, Jowar, Bengal Gram, Red Gram, and Turmeric will be procured. The aim is to support the state’s farmers during these testing times while containing the spread of COVID-19,” said the Chief Minister.

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