Telangana Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to decide on merits of lockdown

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has convened a meeting of his Cabinet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss imposition of lockdown in the State in view of surge in COVID-19 cases.

A release of CMO said the meeting was taking place in the background of diverse opinions emerging about lockdown yielding results to curb COVID. Reports suggested that the results were not satisfactory in some States where lockdown was clamped. At the same time, sections of people favoured lockdown as the only way to deal with the situation.

In these circumstances, the Cabinet will discuss the merits and demerits of lockdown and its impact on the ongoing procurement of paddy in villages.

Tuesday’s meeting has assumed significance after the High Court on Wednesday last asked the State government to consider weekend lockdown or extending the night curfew hours which are presently 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar had told media persons that the Cabinet will discuss the observation of the court and take an appropriate decision. Both, Mr. Rao and Mr. Somesh Kumar were of the firm opinion earlier that lockdown would not serve the purpose. Mr. Rao had also suggested that lockdown would bring life to a standstill and result in collapse of financial system.

Added to this was the Chief Minister’s assertion that imposition of the lockdown at this stage would cripple the normal life and economy of the State which is on a recovery mode. From a huge shortfall of revenue of close to ₹50,000 crore during previous financial year, the State is inching towards normalcy in revenue collection. Tax and non-tax revenue during April was more than ₹ 9,300 crore, including State’s own revenue of close to ₹ 6,750 crore, indicating that the State is on accelerated recovery financially.

He based his observation on past experiences and COVID positive cases not coming down in States where lockdown was in force. There were 25 to 30 lakh workers from other States working here. The first wave of COVID showed how their lives were adversely impacted by lockdown.

What will happen to the workers from other States who are working in rice mills in the midst of the ongoing paddy procurement season? The entire paddy purchase process will come to a standstill, Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao had said at an official meeting which was his first after going into home isolation for testing COVID positive.

Senior officials are of the view that the present scenario is leading to a “lockdown-like” situation where there could be more restrictions, not a full-fledged closure of all the activities. “The situation is trending towards lockdown. There is 60 % chance of imposition of lockdown at least partially,” a senior official told The Hindu.

Officials feel that there will be more restrictions on the movement of people and public gatherings rather than a total lockdown.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 3:11:58 PM |

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