The CM seek more funds from the Center to overcome the blockade
NEW DELHI: Several states supported a two-week extension of the 21-day national blockade that was scheduled to end on April 14, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a second round of videoconferencing with chief ministers on Saturday, according to it was known.
PM Modi, while interacting with the CMs in a four-hour meeting, emphasized the need to extend the blockade. He said there was a consensus among the states to extend the blockade for another two weeks, and emphasized how the next two weeks will be critical in determining the impact of the steps taken so far and that teamwork is key to fighting the coronavirus, according to to a statement issued by the PMO.
The Prime Minister commented jaan hai to jahaan hai (there is no universe without life) when addressing the nation in the crown. Today he said jaan bhi and jahan bhi so that people care about themselves, fulfill their duties and comply with the rules established by the government ... important for the prosperous and healthy future of India.
Odisha Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Punjab counterpart Amrinder Singh had previously called for an extension of the blockade in their respective states. Chief ministers from Kerala, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telengana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Governor of Jammu and Kashmir echoed similar views for an extension. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Prime Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy suggested a partial closure at today's meeting.
States and the Center will have to decide on the crucial issue of livelihoods, even while protecting lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Almost all states sought more resources to address the health and economic impact of the pandemic, as they proposed to use Mahatma Gandhi's National Guarantee Law (MGNREGA) to counter the situation on the ground.
Jharkhand CM, who asked to increase the salary and the number of working days under MGNREGA. Telangana CM K urged the Center to link MNREGA with agriculture during at least this period of crisis. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said there should be more money supply for the Reserve Bank of India . The heads of state seemed to share the same page that crosses party lines.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee demanded a national package of around 6% of the country's GDP to combat the pandemic, its impact and relief for the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) sector.
Soren and Banerjee said that the GST portion of the state should be released immediately by the Center and demanded a one-year moratorium of interest. Given the high number of migrants expected to return to the state after the end of the blockade, Soren requested military help to build centers to accommodate them.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan requested that special trains be organized for stranded people in different parts of the country and suggested that the state employees' insurance corporation (ESIC) should pay wages in a condition like the pandemic.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray suggested allowing industrial activity within a closed area. Delhi's CM Arvind Kejriwal said he was facing a severe income crisis as Delhi's tax revenue was dropping dramatically.
Patnaik suggested the GST exemption on (PPE) and medicines, at the meeting, while the Punjab CM demanded a three-month harvest loan exemption.
Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy reminded the prime minister of the caution that arose from many top ministers at the last meeting on governors and LGs that interfere with the functioning of the state and urged the prime minister to stop him at a critical moment like this.