In a parliamentary meeting floor of both the houses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the nationwide lockdown cannot be lifted as planned on the 14th of April. He further said the lockdown will be lifted after consulting all the Chief Ministers.
In the meeting that lasted for three and a half hours, the Prime Minister addressed the concerns of everybody and said that the ongoing lockdown cannot be lifted as per the advice and the information that he has been receiving about the ground situation.
Pinaki Mishra, the senior leader of Biju Janata Dal, said that the Prime Minister conveyed the difficulty of lifting the lockdown now. There hasn’t been a deadline yet. The decision will be taken after consulting all the Chief Ministers. Mishra also brought it to the attention of the Prime Minister on the need to refinance the industry and ensure cash in the hands of the daily wage workers who have been adversely affected by the lockdown.
CPI asks hike in Financial Assistance to State
According to Mishra, the rescue package announced by the Indian government does not help the poor. He further compared the stimulus package of the Indian government to that of other countries where the package amounts to 10 percent of the GDP. If that was the case in India, the package should have been about 15-20 lakh crores. He also feels the MSMEs and small scale industries need massive refinancing.
Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janashakti Party, an ally of the BJP, also spoke in favor of lifting the lockdown in a phased manner. Paswan also feels the need to have stricter restrictions in urban areas. He also addressed the issue of farmers and asked the Prime Minister to ensure the farmers aren’t ignored in the lockdown period.
The CPI(M) representative Elamaram Kareem urged the central government to clear all the dues of the state government as he cited the example of Kerala whose GST arrears of 3,000 crores is due. He also sought a hike on financial assistance to State.
The Nationwide lockdown that was announced on the 24th of March is scheduled to end on the 14th of April. India currently has 5480 positive cases with 472 recovered and 167 deceased.