New Delhi: All eyes are set on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video meeting with Chief Ministers of states, UTs, which is currently underway. Reports claimed that nearly nine state heads — mostly from Bihar, Odisha, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Mizoram and Meghalaya are expected to speak during the meet as all large states have shared their views in the earlier three meetings. Also Read - PM Modi to Interact With Chief Ministers at 10 AM Today, Major Focus on Lockdown Extension, Economic Package
On March 20, when the Prime Minister held the first meeting with the CMs, eight states had shared their views on containing COVID-19 spread. On April 2, in the second meeting, other eight states discussed lockdown exit strategy. In the third meeting on April 11, the Prime Minister had thanked the states for supporting the decision of the 21-day nationwide lockdown and had lauded them for working together with the Centre as a team to fight COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Will Lockdown be Extended Beyond May 3? Five States Say ‘Yes’ Hours Ahead of Meeting With PM Modi
In the fourth meeting today, Chief Ministers will apprise PM Modi of the responses to the partial relaxations granted on April 20 to certain sectors. Besides, the states might demand a financial package from the Centre, and an amendment to the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act. Also Read - Lockdown Exit Plan, State-specific Progress: Here's What to Expect From PM Modi's Third Video Meet With CMs Tomorrow
Notably, to boost the economic activities in the country, the MHA on Friday allowed neighbourhood and standalone shops, including those located in residential complexes, in urban areas, to open during the lockdown. But those in the markets continue to remain shut till May 3.
Meanwhile, some states such as Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab are expected to request PM Modi for extension in the lockdown beyond May 3 to ensure that coronavirus cases remain under control. Apart from that, the Prime Minister is also likely to take up state-specific issues and formulate a common exit plan.