Friday 17 April 2020 5:15 AM UTC
New Delhi April 17: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday suggested nine measures, including rapidly increasing testing and procuring PPEs, to the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Yechury said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the people to follow his ”saptapadi” (seven points), the central government must implement the party’s ”navapadi” (nine points) on a war footing.
“Procure and provide required PPEs, rapidly increase testing, and transfer Rs 7,500 immediately to all non income tax paying people.
Distribute free food grains to the needy, raise the financial stimulus package from the current 0.8 per cent to at least five percent of the GDP and support state governments with liberal funding,” he said.
He asked the government to procure harvested crops at the declared C2+50 percent support price and pay wages to all registered under MGNREGA, irrespective of work.
“Financially assist employers to protect workers from job losses and wage cuts. Arrange for the return of migrant workers to their homes,” he said.
The CPI(M)’s mouthpiece ”People’s Democracy” claimed that all the state governments are handicapped in this battle to fight coronavirus as they face severe shortage of funds.
“More than half of this amount was already provided for in the budget such as Rs 2000 installment to farmers under the PM Kisan Yojana.
The states have so far got only what was due to them under the National Health Mission and part arrears of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation,” the party’s mouthpiece said.
It also claimed that continuous centralisation of power and resources have taken away whatever fiscal powers and resources the states had.
“The country has entered a crucial time in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. Unless the states are equipped both financially and materially with the wherewithal to organise the fight back, we will have to pay a heavy price both in terms of human and economic losses,” it said.
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