New Delhi: During the all-party meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress demanded special financial package from the Centre for states which are most affected by COVID-19. Also Read - What Next? Govt Must Spell Out Future Plan Post 21-day Lockdown to Avoid Chaos, Says Congress
Raising the issue, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the Centre must grant package to states which have less resources at this critical time. Also Read - 'Light a Diya of Reason, Not Superstition', Congress' Kapil Sibal Mocks PM Modi's Appeal to Nation
Talking about the lockdown extension, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that around 80 per cent of political parties suggested for the extension of the lockdown at Wednesday’s meeting with PM Modi. Also Read - 130 Crore Indians Are United to Defeat COVID-19, Yet Congress Playing Politics: Amit Shah
During the meeting, the Congress also suggested for setting up of task force of union ministers, CMs to propose a way forward to tide over COVID-19 crisis.
“The Congress also suggested setting up of multi-party working group to help the Central government during COVID-19 crisis,” Azad said.
During the meeting, PM Modi told the party leaders that it is not possible to withdraw the 21-day nationwide lockdown at one go on April 14. He also said that the situation in the country is akin to a ‘social emergency’ and all must continue to remain vigilant.
Prior to this, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had written a letter to PM Modi suggesting measures to same money in fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
In her letter, she had also called for putting on hold foreign visits by the President, Vice president and Union ministers as well as chief ministers of states and bureaucrats which she said can save money for the COVID-29 crisis. She also suggested that the government’s expenditure budget can be slashed, other than salaries, pensions and central sector schemes, by 30 per cent.
The suggestions from the Congress came after PM Modi on Monday called all political party leaders and sought suggestions from them in fighting the coronavirus.
“Austerity measures which can be used to divert much needed funds to the fight against COVID-19 are the need of the hour. In this spirit, I am writing to offer five concrete suggestions. I am certain you will find value in them,” Sonia Gandhi said in her letter to PM Modi.