Congress president Sonia Gandhi today welcomed the economic package which the government announced hours after she wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi backing the 21-day national lockdown to fight the pandemic and seeking a separate compensation scheme for small and micro industry.
Hailing the package, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “The government announcement today of a financial assistance package is the first step in the right direction. India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women and the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown.”
‘Take care of farmers too’
- Congress president Sonia Gandhi says the government, with nearly 60% population economically dependent on agriculture, should enable harvesting and procurement of crops at MSP and suspend all recoveries from farmers for six months
- For the salaried class, the Congress chief asked for EMIs to be deferred for six months, and for small industry she sought a separate dedicated package
Earlier in her letter to PM, Sonia Gandhi said the Congress would support every step taken by the Centre to ensure the containment of the pandemic.
She made suggestions, including the need to arm doctors, nurses and health workers with personal protection equipment, including N-95 masks and hazmat suits, and said production of these items can be locally scaled up. Sonia’s letter also referred to the need for a special risk allowance for doctors, nurses and health workers for six months retrospectively from March 1.
She said over some days there has been much uncertainty about designated hospitals and their locations, number of beds, isolation chambers, ventilators, dedicated medical teams, medical supplies.