Extend lockdown, Capt Amarinder Singh urges Modi

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11

‘Mortality rate down to 1.8%’

  • The Punjab Government has brought down the mortality rate to 1.8 per cent, Capt Amarinder Singh said, adding the state has so far conducted over 40,000 tests at the rate of 2,500 per day.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday pitched for the lockdown extension, but with a carefully crafted strategy backed by fiscal and economic empowerment of the states to save lives and secure livelihood.

Favouring continuation of a strict lockdown in view of the escalating Covid cases nationwide, the Chief Minister said at the videoconference with PM Narendra Modi that states needed to be given greater flexibility in micro-planning as part of a carefully planned exit strategy, encompassing both Covid containment and a defined path of economic revival.

The exit strategy should consider and focus on fiscal and economic empowerment of the states, which are responsible for the real action directly impinging upon the livelihood and social health of the common man, said the Chief Minister, suggesting that states should be allowed great flexibility in micro-planning, with MSMEs be allowed to function in red zones with proper safeguards. The decision on designating the red, orange/yellow and green zones should be left to the states, he said.

Capt Amarinder demanded urgent financial assistance to the states to meet at least 33 per cent of their committed liabilities, along with revenue grants to the states for three months to meet shortfall in revenue and to fund expenditure on Covid-19.

He called for a national strategy on Covid testing for making the battle more effective.

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