Centre should be transparent about lockdown exit plan: Highlights of Rahul Gandhi's AMA
Centre should be transparent about lockdown exit plan: Highlights of Rahul Gandhi's AMA

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed the media on Friday.

Addressing the media, Gandhi said that "what government needs to do now is, give a little bit of transparency on its actions. We need to understand when they open the coronavirus lockdown what will be the criteria for its opening."

If govt wants to open lockdown, it has to convert people's fear of disease into confidence, he adds.

Further, he says that "This is not the time to criticise, we need a strategy to open the lockdown. Any businessman will tell you that there is a clash between economic supply chain and 'red, orange and green zones', that need to be resolved."

Lockdown is not an on/off switch, it is a transition which requires cooperation between Centre, states and people, says Gandhi.

While there has been confusion over the activities in zones, Gandhi says that the government should have more clarity and all the zones should be decided at state level. "Red, orange & 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 national level are actually green zones & vice versa."

He believes that the "COVID19 crisis should be fought not only by the PMO alone but it shoulbe be done in a decentralized way by giving powers to states and district magistrates and taking them into confidence."

Addressing the plight of the migrant labourers, he says that the government should be sent back to their homes ofcourse after proper testing. "Restricting migrant workers from going to their home states is inhuman. They should be allowed to move", he says.

"We are in an emergency and idea of injecting a sum of Rs 7,500 directly into hands of poor is critical," he adds.

He adds, "Give 50 per cent of population immediately Rs 7,500 each. Total comes to Rs 65,000 crore which is not a big amount. Government of India has to deposit in their accounts at the earliest."

Adding that we cannot continue without providing support to people who are suffering as a result of the lockdown, he said, "Currently, the people are very scared of this disease, so we are going to have to make psychological changes in the minds of the people, the government, if it wants to open up, it has to turn this fear into a sense of confidence."

While the coronavirus outbreak has hit several businesses hard, Gandhi says that "We have to protect job creators, build a wall for them to protect jobs, wages; we have to give them financial support."

He urged the Centre to take necessary steps to restart our economy. "We need to start our domestic economy soon, the more time we lose, the worse impact it will have," he said.

Addressing the crisis industries are facing amid the pandemic, Gandhi says that "There is a link between MSMEs and big industries. Government will have to pay attention on both for revival by restoring supply chain."

Earlier, Gandhi had also held discussions with Nobel Laureate, Abhijit Banerjee and former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan on the economic fall out of the COVID-19 crisis.

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