PM to interact with 15 remaining States, UTs to discuss COVID-19
The States and Union Territories include Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana and Odisha. On the first day yesterday, the Prime Minister interacted with 21 States and Union Territories through video conferencing.
During his interaction, the Prime Minister observed that timely decisions taken to combat the pandemic have been effective in containing its spread in the country. He said, its early preparedness approach helped the country to chalk out measures to save many lives. Mr Modi said, when India’s fight against COVID-19 will be analysed in the future, the time will be remembered for how the Centre and States worked together to fight the pandemic. The Prime Minister said, they have presented an example for cooperative federalism to the world.
Mr Modi said that even a single loss of life due to coronavirus is saddening and the nation should not lower it’s guard even during the unlock. He urged every citizen to strictly follow all necessary precautions including wearing mask, maintaining Do Gaj ki Doori and washing hands regularly with soap. Mr Modi said, they have tried to save each and every life. He emphasized that with all modes of transport now open, in last few weeks, thousands of Indians returned from abroad and hundreds of migrant workers reached their home towns. The Prime Minister said, even though India has a huge population, coronavirus has not assumed as life threatening a form as in the rest of the world. He said that health experts worldover are praising the discipline shown by Indians, adding that the recovery rate in the country is now over 50 percent. He also noted that India is amongst the nations with the least deaths due to coronavirus.
Prime Minister noted that due to the efforts of the past few week, several green shoots in the economy are visible which are encouraging the country to forge ahead. Mr Modi highlighted the increased sale of fertilizers, larger year on year sowing of Kharif Crops and digital payments in retail sector as few benchmarks. He also mentioned the historic reforms introduced by the Central government, including provisions to provide automatic collateral free loans to MSMEs and boosting the agrarian economy as measures which will ensure creation of strong and sustained demand in the country.
Mr Modi emphasized the need to focus on both life and livelihood. He said, on the one hand, there is a need to boost health infrastructure with emphasis on testing and tracing, economic activity will also need to be increased. The Prime Minister said, the decisions need to be taken keeping in view both current needs and future requirements. He appealed to the Chief Ministers to turn crisis into opportunity. Mr Modi said, the views and the experiences of all states and Union Territories will be discussed to strategize future roadmap of nation’s fight against the global pandemic.
First part of the two day interaction yesterday witnessed participation of States and Union Territories including Punjab, Assam, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Goa, Manipur, Nagaland, Ladakh, Puducherry, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman Diu, Sikkim and Lakshadweep. The Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership during such a challenging time and uniting the country to fight for the collective fight against the virus. They provided feedback about existing health infrastructure in their states and efforts for augmentation to tackle the impact of the virus. They mentioned about the awareness campaigns being run by them, help being provided to workers who have returned home, usage of Aarogya Setu app, and kickstarting of economic activities in the states.
Speaking on the occasion, Home Minister Amit Shah said that while the country has so far fought a successful battle against the pandemic, the road ahead is long and suggestions given by the Prime Minister regarding use of mask and face cover, maintaining do gaz doori should be followed by all. The meeting assumed significance in the wake of the rising number of novel coronavirus cases in the country. This was the sixth meeting of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers since the announcement of nationwide lockdown in March.
Currently, the country is under the fifth phase of the lockdown which entails much more relaxations than the previous ones. Under the first phase of nationwide Unlock, the Centre and state governments have eased several restrictions for the convenience of public and businesses to ensure that economic activities gather momentum. AIR correspondent reports that earlier, the Prime Minister had held a detailed meeting with senior ministers and officials on 13th of this month to review India’s response to Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting had reviewed the national level status and preparation in the context of the pandemic.