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Coronavirus | Yechury urges PM Modi to institute special package

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. File

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

He demands a moratorium on bank loans for a year for small scale manufacturers and retail traders.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has urged the government to institute a special package to tackle health and economic challenges that have arisen due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

In the letter, made public by the party, Mr. Yechury argued that it is not the time to be “preoccupied by concerns to maintain fiscal discipline but to use our resources for saving lives”.

He wrote, “Many countries in the world have announced that the government will guarantee the payment of at least 80 per cent of the salaries being drawn by workers who are now unable to attend work. Government of India should do likewise.”

Mr. Yechury demanded a moratorium on bank loans for a year for small scale manufacturers and retail traders.

Also read: Coronavirus live updates | March 23, 2020

The ongoing lockdown across the nation to contain the spread of COVID-19 was grievously hurting the daily wagers and their families. “It is necessary that immediately at least Rs. 5,000 should be transferred to the Jan Dhan accounts and BPL beneficiaries,” the letter said.

Kerala initiative

On the lines of the Kerala government's initiative to distribute mid-day meal to students homes since schools are shut, the Union government should also supply ration kits.

Also read: Stimulus plan to cushion virus impact

Mr. Yechury reiterated the CPI(M)’s call for free ration through PDS to all BPL/APL families for a month.

It was imperative that the government scale up the testing of people particularly those with declared symptoms, he said.

In reference to news reports regarding a circular issued by the Union Health Ministry that only those testing kits approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and European Commission alone would be used, he said, “Reports indicate that there is only one manufacturer in Gujarat who produces such kits. In view of the gravity of the situation, this circular must be withdrawn and all kits approved by the NIV must be deployed for use, urgently.”

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 11:30:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-yechury-urges-pm-modi-to-institute-special-package/article31142851.ece

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