Modi asks Union Ministers to prepare for situation at end of lockdown
New Delhi, April 6, 2020
Stating that lockdown measures and social distancing must go hand in hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stressed the need to strategize for the emergent conditions once the lockdown ends.
Holding a video conference with Union Ministers, Modi directed them to prepare a list of ten major decisions and ten priority areas to focus on after the lockdown. He also exhorted them to identify and implement pending reforms in their Ministries.
Due to the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, the country needs to lessen its dependence on other nations. All departments should maintain an objective index on how their work will promote "Make in India".
About the impact on the economy, the Prime Minister said the government must work on a war-footing to mitigate the impact. The Ministries should prepare a Business Continuity Plan.
He noted that the crisis offers an opportunity to become self-dependent in the medical sector. Highlighting the impact on India’s exports, he asked the Ministers to submit actionable suggestions on boosting manufacturing and exports and ensure that new sectors and countries are added in India’s export net.
The Prime Minister also asked them to popularize the Aarogya Setu app in the rural areas and grass-root institutions to further spread information and awareness about the pandemic.
The Ministers praised the initiative of #9pm9minute, saying that people from all corners of the country participated in it, bringing together the entire populace in the battle against the pandemic.
They apprised the Prime Minister about efforts to tackle difficulties faced by migrant labour, preventing misuse of social media to create panic, maintenance of supply lines of essentials, issues faced by front line workers and efforts to mitigate them.
Modi appreciated the work of the Ministers and said the continuous feedback provided by them has been effective in strategizing for tackling COVID-19. It was imperative that the leaders communicate exhaustively with the state and district administration, especially in the districts which were hotspots for the pandemic, to be apprised of the ground situation and also provides solutions to the emerging problems.
It was important to ensure no crowding at PDS centres, maintain effective monitoring, take action on complaints and prevent black marketing and rise in prices of essentials, he said.
Modi said the welfare of farmers was of high importance. The government would provide all possible help to farmers in the harvesting season. In this regard, he suggested harnessing technology and encouraging exploration of innovative solutions like using ‘truck aggregators’ to connect farmers with mandis, on the lines of app-based cab services.
He also underlined the need to devise a strategy to ensure procurement of tribal products so that the source of income source of the indigenous tribal populace remains intact.
Modi stressed the importance of monitoring continuously and ensuring that the benefits of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana keep reaching the intended beneficiaries in a seamless manner.
The planning should incorporate the possibility of further spread of the virus. There should be continuous monitoring to maintain timelines of production of essential medicines and protection equipment. Micro- level planning was essential to maintain supply lines and availability of essentials.
Top officials of the Union Government gave detailed presentations on the steps being taken to meet the emerging challenges.
Apart from the Ministers, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officials of Government participated in the interaction.