India may extend the continuous national lockdown by 15 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told lawmakers on Wednesday, as the government raced to take off the test presented by the coronavirus pandemic. The final decision on extending the 21-day lockdown that is set to end on 14 April will be taken after a meeting with every single chief minister on 11 April, leaders who went to the meeting said.
Lockdown Prospective to be Extended till 30th April, PM Modi
“The prime minister said it may not be possible to lift the lockdown on 15 April, going by the feedback that he is getting from across the country. He will discuss with the chief ministers and thereafter may take a call as to by how many days the lockdown can be extended,” Pinaki Misra, member of Parliament from Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) who represented his party at the meeting, said.
If that to be sure the world’s biggest lockdown is extened, it will prompt further interruption to the occupations of India’s in excess of 400 million daily labour who have practically no investment funds to tap. In any case, an ensemble of powerful voices, including chief ministers, has advocated the lives over livelihoods to get control over the deadly virus. Lifting the lockdown, they dread, will intensify the circumstance and ought to be done in stages.
As indicated by a Prime Minister’s Office explanation on Wednesday, Modi told officials the circumstance in the nation was much the same as a ‘social emergency’.
“Most parties gave the sense that they favour an extension of the lockdown but we left the final call with the Prime Minister. On his part, the prime minister said that he has got similar information from some states but a final call will be taken after consulting all the key stakeholders, including bureaucrats,” Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon via a virtual press conference.
At the meeting, political parties groups including Lok Janshakti Party, which is a part of the decision National Democratic Alliance, encouraged the Center to attract a detailed plan to support farmers, daily wage workers and revive the rural economy.
Several leaders, including Azad from the Congress, Elamaram Kareem of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s T.R. Baalu, also raised the requirement for giving more financial assistance to poor people, farmers and daily wagers, releasing of goods and services tax by the Center to states and concentrating on giving satisfactory personal protective equipment to health workers.
“He did not declare clearly what was on his mind but there was enough indication that he felt lifting of lockdown at this stage could be difficult. He, however, said that the Union government will take a final call only after the meeting with chief ministers on Saturday,” a senior leader and Rajya Sabha member who attended the meeting on Wednesday said on condition of anonymity.
States such as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana have demanded that the lockdown be extended by at least 15 days.
“The Union government has already informed state governments to make preparations for essential commodities and also to prepare for greater number of hospitals,” said a senior leader of Samajwadi Party aware of developments.