Coronavirus | Most CMs want Modi to be cautious on lifting lockdown, says Puducherry CM

States also mooted slowly starting of economic activities with some curbs, says Narayanasamy

Updated - April 27, 2020 11:21 pm IST

Published - April 27, 2020 09:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

V. Narayanasamy. File

V. Narayanasamy. File

A majority of Chief Ministers during their videoconference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi have favoured a cautious approach to lifting the lockdown, scheduled to end on May 3, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said on Monday.

Addressing an online press conference soon after the videoconference, the Puducherry Chief Minister said that since the revenues of the States had completely dried up, they advocated ‘slowly starting economic activities with some restrictions’.

Grant to States

Mr. Narayanasamy, one of the nine Chief Ministers who spoke at the videoconference, also made several key suggestions such as a block grant of ₹1 lakh crore for all States to combat COVID-19 on the basis of population, clearing the pending GST dues, interest-free advances to States by the Reserve Bank of India, rescheduling of Central loans to States for six months and a stimulus package on the lines given by the UPA government in 2008.

“Most of the Chief Ministers were unanimous in telling the Prime Minister that the way in which the corona-affected persons are increasing in the country, there should be a cautious approach and the Prime Minister should take a call on the basis of the observations given by the Chief Ministers,” Mr. Narayanasamy said.

“And they said economic activity should be slowly started,” he added.

Migrant workers

Mr. Narayanasamy said he and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked the Centre to evolve a policy for sending home migrant workers stranded across the country due to the lockdown.

Asked if any Chief Minister expressed apprehension of law and order due to the prolonged lockdown and migrant workers getting anxious, he said, “The Bihar Chief Minister raised this issue ... The Prime Minister also mentioned about migrant workers in passing but did not give any solution to resolve the issue.”

Stranded students

The Puducherry Chief Minister also raised the issue of Indian tourists and students stranded abroad and urged the government to take steps to bring them back.

Mr. Narayanasamy claimed that his party colleague and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot came in for some praise from Mr. Modi for taking effective steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 in his State.

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