Rahul Gandhi: ‘Lockdown not on/off switch’, says Rahul Gandhi on Coronavirus | India News


NEW DELHI: The coronavirus-induced lockdown is “not an on and off switch” and it requires cooperation of everyone, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday while addressing an online press conference.
On the question of lifting the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Congress leader said that the Central government needs to implement transparency in its actions.
“Opening up is a transition. You have to have a strategy for opening up,” he said.
The former Congress president said that lifting the lockdown is not an “on and off” switch and the government would need to better coordinate its actions with the state governments and especially the people of this country.
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“The (Central) government should view the state governments and district administrations as partners,” he added.
Responding to a question on the ongoing lockdown, Rahul added that it is time to plan for the future and not criticise (the actions of the government).
“We are losing time. The more time we lose, the more severe the problem will become. Right now the time for us is to open up,” he said.
More on Covid-19
The Congress leader further added the importance of adding money into the hands of migrant workers, poor and MSME industry.
“Because if we don’t help them today, the job loses will become a tsunami,” he said.
On the categorisation of districts in three zones, Rahul said that the demarcation should be done at the state and district level, rather than the national level.
“Red, orange and green zones have been demarcated at National level. These zones should be decided at state levels involving district magistrates. Our CMs are saying that the areas which are red zones at the national level are actually green zones and vice versa,” he said.
He also said that there is a “clash” between economic supply chain and ‘red, orange and green zones’, that need to be resolved.
“The important issue is to address the atmosphere of fear. We should focus on fact. The fact is that coronavirus is not deadly for 99% of the people. It is only deadly for the remaining 1% who are old, suffer from hypertension, diabetes etc,” Rahul said.
On economic stimulus
It is clear that we are not going to be able to get our economy moving again, without a
massive economic stimulus from the Government. Most countries around the world
have already announced huge stimulus packages to help restart the economy and
ease the pain being suffered by their citizens. However, in India, the Government has
been dragging its feet on announcing an economic package targeting vulnerable
groups. The longer the Government delays announcing this package, the more the
pain will grow and the tougher it will become to re-start the economy.
‘Extend income support to poor’
Extend ‘Income Support’ to at least 13 crore poorest households. Transfer Rs.7,500
preferably to each household. Even if Rs.5,000 is transferred to each of the 13 crore
households, it will amount to a total of only Rs.65,000 crore, which we can and must
afford.
‘Ensure food security for all’
Ensure Food Security for even the 11 crore people currently outside PDS. Our go-
downs are full of grains. Please ensure delivery of 10 kg food grains (rice or wheat), 1
kg pulses and 1 kg sugar to every individual every month for a period of next six
months.
‘Why are migrant labourers still being forced to walk back?’
I am deeply disturbed & saddened by news of trains being cancelled and migrants
being forced to stay back in some states. They are not bonded labour and should be
allowed to travel home according to their own free will. After announcements of buses
and trains, why are thousands still forced to walk back to their villages?
In Video:Indian economy has stopped, govt should de-centralise the system: Rahul Gandhi



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