New Delhi: At a time when a number of states have urged the Centre to extend the nationwide lockdown beyond April 14, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday urged the Centre to consider a partial relaxation of the lockdown keeping in mind the financial health of the country. Also Read - Take Care of Poor Families During Lockdown, That is Great Honour For me, Says PM Modi

He said this during the meeting of leaders of various parties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Also Read - ‘Not Possible to Withdraw Lockdown in One go on April 14,’ Says PM Modi at All-party Meet

During the meeting, Pawar suggested about relaxing the ongoing lockdown in certain areas of the country after ensuring there is no compromise on health and lives of the people. Also Read - I Asked Him if He Would Release Hydroxychloroquine; He Was Really Good, Says Donald Trump on Modi

“The fight against COVID-19 pandemic will be long- running. This may have a bearing on the world and Indian economy. There is a need to take appropriate steps. In all, the Centre should mull steps to uplift the economy now on,” Pawar told PM Modi.

Saying that the focus should be on boosting revenue of states, Pawar demanded release of GST compensation to respective state governments including Maharashtra.

He also urged the Centre to slash non-plan expenditure and asked the government to consider delaying construction of the new ‘Sansad Bhavan’ (Parliament Building).

Highlighting that the industries and farmers are worst affected by the coronavirus crisis, Pawar asked PM Modi to ensure relief for these sections.

He also added that the governors should first consult with respective chief ministers and chief secretaries to ensure that there are no two power centres working simultaneously.

Pawar further urged the Centre to take care of those who do not possess Aadhaar or ration cards and have failed to get food during the ongoing crisis.

“The media too should take care that there is no divide caused between communities by repeating reports of a particular incident,” he added.

During the meeting, PM Modi interacted with 18 leaders from different parties. Most of them were from opposition parties.