To evaluate the current situation amid the coronavirus pandemic, the first round of meetings will be held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the chief ministers today. Certain strategies are to be made to enhance the focus on testing people and a special package with a direct cash transfer to the poor.
The number of cases of coronavirus may increase with the opening up of economic activity. The state government agrees to this. The 21 states which will be meeting PM Narendra Modi in the first round, have around 19,000 cases with over 130 deaths. As per the beliefs of the State government, while the situation is under some control, testing should be done more.
All the opposition-ruled states including Punjab, Jharkhand, Kerala and Chhattisgarh and all union territories, northeast states, hill states like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh will be meeting PM Narendra Modi today.
A senior minister from Jharkhand said requesting the anonymity, that there is a view with the return of migrants, the total number of cases may see a spike. Getting one robust testing center in every district should be one of the first priorities. Also, better access to PPE (personal protective equipment) kits and ventilators should be made.
An issue has been raised of direct financial assistance for poor, farmers, and migrant laborers by the minister. According to the minister, a package that gives them timely relief, not loans, is essential and the center should ensure that. More autonomy is needed by the state too in this fight and financial assistance should be given accordingly to the states to take care of the economic fallout.
The meeting to be held today, us the sixth round of meeting that PM Narendra Modi would hold with the chief ministers ever since the pandemic has spread in the country. The first-ever meeting regarding this was held on March 20. In order to prompt consumer spending, the unlock phase started on June 8 allowing more economic activity. According to the state, there is a need for a staggered withdrawal from the lockdown and retaining a fair harmony between opening up of economic activities and doing more tests.
A senior Congress leader from party-ruled Chhattisgarh has requested anonymity. The center declared a package but applied conditions to lending for the states. Their main demand in the meeting is going to be that states like theirs should be entitled to the additional borrowing limit of 2 percent of GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) free of any conditions. The demand which they made earlier of giving States financial assistance still remains.
The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month declared openly raising of borrowing limits for states for recent fiscal from 3 percent of GSDP to 5 percent but linked it with instructing certain reforms. One-nation-one-ration-card, the comfort of doing business, urban local body revenues, and power distribution are such moves that the key opposition parties have opposed.
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