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MUMBAI : Maharashtra government, following a meeting of the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray with the state’s other key ministers, on Wednesday, refuted all the claims that were made by the state’s former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and said the state government has not yet received most of the benefits that it is ought to receive from the central government.

The government also said the number of covid-19 infection cases in the state is estimated to be a maximum of around 60,000, which is less than half of what was estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“WHO had said that there would be 1.5 lakh (covid-19 infection) cases in Maharashtra but we estimate that there will be only 60,000 cases, which is a good thing for the Maharashtra government," said Jayant Patil, the state’s water resources minister.

With 54,758 covid-19 cases, Maharashtra is the country's worst-affected state.

On Tuesday, Fadnavis, the opposition leader of Bharatiya Janta Party said that Maharashtra can get a benefit of Rs. 2.71 trillion from the stimulus package of the central government, which is not happening since the state government is unable to take bold decisions.

Fadnavis claimed that Maharashtra is making false claims that the centre is not giving enough money to Maharashtra, adding that the state has received 28,000 crore so far from the centre. In a press conference, Fadnavis said that the centre has given wheat worth 1750 crore, rice worth 2,620 crore, Daal worth 100 crore, and Rs. 122 crore for migrant workers over the last three months.

However, following the meeting on Wednesday, Anil Parab, transport minister of Maharashtra said in reality Maharashtra has not got the wheat worth Rs. 1750 crore and most of the claims made by Fadnavis are not true.

“Migrant workers have not received funds. The cost of trains worth Rs. 68 crore has been paid by the state government for migrant laborers. While 80 trains have been demanded to the central government, only 30 trains have been provided by the central government. Maharashtra workers do not get trains," said Parab, adding that Fadnavis’ claims that Maharashtra deliberately creates confusion among passengers is a remark of discredit to the state government.

“Fadnavis said that Maharashtra government got Rs. 19,000 crore but it is not true. Maharashtra is supposed to receive 18,279 crore from the central government but that too hasn’t come. The central government has not even paid Maharashtra's GST claims," said Parab, adding that Maharashtra government should get the money that fits the law.

“About Rs. 42,000 crore of Maharashtra is stuck at the Center," said Parab.

Fadnavis , on Tuesday, claimed the centre has provided funds for purchase of agricultural commodities such as cotton ( 5647 crore), paddy ( 2311 crore), Toor daal (Rs. 593 crore) and so on.

But Parab said this is not true. In fact, Maharashtra on its own has allocated Rs. 12,000 crore for the state’s farmers under Mahatma Phule Yojana. “Initially the central government promised to give us the material but it was not given," said Parab.

Fadnavis said the central government has provided Maharashtra 9.88 lakh PPE kits, 15.59 lakh N95 masks and a health assistance of 468 crore to combat the covid-19 crisis.

Parab said that the cost for PPE Kits and N-95 masks will be paid by the state government to the center. “The central government has not given anything to the Maharashtra government for free," said Parab.

While Fadnavis claimed that now the number of covid-19 tests has been greatly reduced, Parab, on Wednesday said, “Nowhere else have so many tests been conducted like Mumbai and Maharashtra. The Central Government has not shown any mercy to the state of Maharashtra."

While Fadnavis claimed that there is a lack of beds and ambulances and private hospitals are giving inflated bills and there is no space in mortuaries, on Wednesday, Parab said as compared to China, only in Mumbai hospitals have been set up in a short period of time under current circumstances but it was not appreciated.

Parab said only Rs. 1611 crore has been received from the Emergency Fund, no separate funds have been given by the central government for Maharashtra.

The state’s revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat, said in Wednesday’s meeting that the whole world is in a crisis and Maharashtra is a major commercial centre in the world.

While Fadnavis had claimed that the state has not done enough for the migrant workers, Thorat said, “ Maharashtra government will take care of all migrant workers. We have also made arrangements to send them home from here. The state government is taking care of the migrants. The situation in Mumbai is worrying.

Thorat said the chief minister of Maharashtra himself has taken care of Mumbai and considering the current situation, the government expects cooperation from the opposition, which is trying to discredit the government instead.

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