New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with the Chief Ministers via video conferencing to discuss the situation emerging post Unlock 1 and plan ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first part of the two day interaction. The Prime Minister took stock of pandemic situation in different States and UTs. This was the sixth such interaction of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers.
Chief Ministers of States and UTs including Punjab, Assam, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Goa, Manipur, Nagaland, Ladakh, Puducherry, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra Nagar Haveli & Daman Diu, Sikkim and Lakshadweep, participated in the first part of the two day meeting.
Prime Minister said that timely decisions taken to combat the pandemic have been effective in containing its spread in the country.
PM said, “When we look back, people will remember that we have presented an example for cooperative federalism to the world.”
PM Modi said, “We have tried to save each and every life. All modes of transport are now open, lakhs of migrant labourers have travelled back to their villages, thousands of Indians have returned from abroad, and even though India has a huge population, coronavirus has not assumed as life threatening a form as in the rest of the world.”
He said that health experts world over are praising the discipline shown by Indians, adding that the recovery rate in the country is now over 50%.
PM also said that India is amongst the nations with the least deaths due to coronavirus. Prime Minister mentioned that a big lesson is that if we remain disciplined and follow all rules, coronavirus will cause least damage.
Emphasizing on the importance of usage of mask / face cover, PM said, “Without mask/face cover, no one should venture out. This is not just important for the person concerned but also for his family and community.”
Highlighting the importance of social distancing and hygiene, PM also talked about following the mantra of ‘do gaz doori’, washing hands with soap and using sanitizer. He forewarned that any laxity in discipline will weaken our fight against the virus.
Prime Minister noted that with the efforts of the past few week, green shoots in the economy are visible, including rise in power consumption which was earlier falling, fertilizer sale in May this year seeing a significant increase, a healthy increase in Kharif sowing in comparison to last year, production of two wheelers increasing, digital payment in retail reaching pre lockdown level, increase in toll collection in May and bouncing back of exports. These signals are encouraging us to forge ahead.
PM emphasized on the need of working together to ensure that the announcements made under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan fructify at the earliest.
Highlighting the role of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ mission in today’s economy, PM Narendra Modi said, “There is significant importance of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and MSMEs in the participating States, provisions for which have been made under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.”
Talking about the provisions to provide timely credit to MSMEs, PM said that if quick disbursal of credit to industries is ensured through Bankers Committees, these industries will be able to start working quickly while also ensuring provision of employment opportunities. Smaller factories require guidance and hand-holding, he said. He mentioned the importance of working together on value chains to give fillip to trade and industry. Specific Economic Activity Points in the states should work 24 hours a day and loading and unloading should be quickened to give further boost to economic activity.
Prime Minister mentioned the benefits set to accrue to farmers through reforms in the agriculture sector, including new avenues to sell produce, increase in income which in turn would increase demand in the economy. New opportunities for North-East and tribal regions in the areas of farming and horticulture are set to be created, with opening up of new markets for organic products, bamboo products and other tribal produce.
The States will also benefit from a cluster based approach for local products, he said, adding that such products should be identified at each block and district level for better processing and more effective marketing.
He underscored the importance of being focussed on both life and livelihood. He said that on the one hand, health infrastructure will need to be boosted with emphasis on testing and tracing, economic activity will also need to be increased. The decisions need to be taken keeping in view both current needs and future requirements.
He asked the Chief Ministers to continuously keep driving in the fact that danger of the virus is not over yet, and the need to remain vigilant while opening up the economy.
Home Minister Shri Amit Shah said that while we have so far fought a successful battle against the pandemic, the road ahead is long and suggestions given by the Prime Minister regarding use of mask/face cover, maintaining do gaz doori etc should be followed by all.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a detailed meeting with Senior Ministers and Officials to review country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Health Secretary, DG ICMR and other related conveyance of the Empowered Groups.
The Prime Minister took stock of pandemic situation in different states and UTs, including Delhi, in meeting with officials. The meeting reviewed the national level status and preparation in the context of the pandemic. Prime Minister took cognizance of the recommendations of the Empowered Group on city- and district-wise requirements of hospital beds/isolation beds which will be required and instructed Health Ministry officials to undertake emergency planning in consultation with the States/UTs. PM also advised the Ministry to ensure suitable preparations in view of the start of the Monsoon season.