Video Conferencing with Prime Minister Centre Should Launch Scheme On Lines Of ‘Food For Work': CM 'Decision Of Lockdown To Be Taken According To Situation in States'

Video Conferencing with Prime Minister Centre Should Launch Scheme On Lines Of ‘Food For Work': CM 'Decision Of Lockdown To Be Taken According To Situation in States'

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Video Conferencing with Prime Minister
Centre Should Launch Scheme On Lines Of ‘Food For Work': CM
'Decision Of Lockdown To Be Taken According To Situation in States'


Jaipur, April 11. Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot has requested Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to immediately plan to launch a scheme on the lines of ‘Food for Work’ scheme. Such a scheme was urgently required for providing relief to the garbage pickers, pushcart or rickshaw-pullers, nomad and other helpless people whose livelihoods were under threat due to the lockdown. This scheme was initiated during the regime of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001-02 and gained much popularity as a measure of fighting drought.

The Chief Minister added that the state government compensated such vulnerable population by providing a cash amount of Rs. 2500 each to more than 31 lakh families, who were not being covered under any other social security scheme. The centre should also bring some scheme of compensation for such people so that they could get at least a minimum economic support. He said that the Government of India The centre was having sufficient quantity of grains for such a scheme, he added. 

Shri Gehlot was discussing the issue with the PM during a video conference attended by the Chief Ministers of all other states from his official residence on Saturday. He said that for deciding the financial package to the states, a delegation of top officers could be sent for discussion with the Union Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 

The Chief Minister reiterated his demand to provide grant of Rs. One Lakh crore to the state governments to deal with the global pandemic Covid-19. Payment of the first instalment of the grant should be made based on the population and later on instalments should be made as per the prescribed formulas of the GST Council or the Inter-state Council, he added.

The CM further asked for an increase in the borrowing limit for a state and the treasury deficit limit mentioned in the FRBM Act to 5% of the GDP. He demanded that recently the RBI increased the Wage and Means Advance limit by 30%, but looking to the current crisis, the facility of this advance payment to the state governments should be provided free of interest, so that the Covid-19 pandemic could be effectively dealt with.

Shri Gehlot demanded for grant of a moratorium of 6 months to the states by reassessing the payment of forthcoming instalments of outstanding loans due to RBI and other financial institutions under the Government of India. 

The Chief Minister apprised the PM about measures taken by the state government to give relief to the needy and vulnerable sections during the crisis and said that it was very important for the states to get sufficient help from the Centre to face a disaster like corona. In regard to the ongoing lockdown, Shri Gehlot emphasised on taking a collective decision by looking to the situation of the individual states and taking the respective state governments into confidence. 

Took All Possible Measures To Stop This Pandemic

The CM told Prime Minister Shri Modi that the Government of Rajasthan took all possible measures to check swelling of Covid-19 pandemic. After successfully controlling the spread of infection in Bhilwara district, different measures were being taken to stop the spread at other places in the state. Once the Rapid Test Kit were available, number and speed of tests could multiply so that the infected patients were identified and quarantined well in time to stop spread of infection to other people, the CM added. He said that Rajasthan was quite alert and vigilant over this pandemic. All efforts would be done to face this challenge.

No One Should Sleep Hungry

Shri Gehlot further said, “It is our promise that no person in Rajasthan should sleep hungry due to lockdown and the measures are being taken to maintain purchasing power of the people. We have provided relief to every section of the society. We have paid social security pension to 78 lakh beneficiaries in the state for two months.” He added, for this, the state government had to bear a burden of Rs. 1500 crore. Sufficient arrangements were made to provide food and ration items to the every needy, he said.

Shri Gehlot said that the crops of Rabi season were ready to be sold in the market. Under the Prime Minister Asha Scheme, 25% of the total yields of crops are procured at the Minimum Support Price (MSP), which is inadequate. Farmers should be provided relief in such a tough time by increasing the purchase limit on MSP to 50%. Also, the FCI and NAFED etc. should urgently start the MSP procurement of crops in phased manner.

Industries Should Get Incentive Package

The Chief Minister said that the then Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee had announced a big stimulus package during the 2008 economic slump. Such a package should be announced for the industries during the current crisis, so that their financial situation could be strengthened.

Centre Should Consider Giving Concession on Central GST

Shri Gehlot apprised the Prime Minister that the state government had provided relief to the hotel and tourism industry, which had been badly affected due to lockdown after the infection of Covid-19. "We have decided to reimburse the State GST to the hospitality businesses for the next three months. To arrest the deteriorating situation of this industry during this challenging time, the Government of India should consider of giving concession in the Central GST, he added.

The CM said that industries and commercial institutions on the orders of the government have given full salary of the month of March to their personnel and labourers. It should be ensured that this compensation be given in future as well because the labourers have no other source of income during lockdown.

Measures To Be Taken Now To Promote Exports

Shri Gehlot suggested that there will be recovery at the global economic scenario after the lockdown ends and in such situation, looking to the possibilities of new export opportunities for India, from now onwards giving interest subsidy through EXIM Bank and other incentives should be considered to encourage exports.

The Chief Minister further asked the PM that the funds being donated by the companies and industries in the state to the Raj. CM Relief Fund COVID-19 Mitigation Fund should be given the status of CSR activity as was done for the PM Cares Fund. For this, the concerned Union Ministry should issue appropriate orders, he demanded, further saying that this would help Rajasthan in fighting Corona-19 pandemic with its firm resolve and commitment.
Medical and Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma, Chief Secretary Shri DB Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary Home Shri Rajeeva Swarup, Director General of Police Shri Bhupendra Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Medical and Health Shri Rohit Kumar Singh and other senior officers were present in the video conference.

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Video Conferencing with Prime Minister Centre Should Launch Scheme On Lines Of ‘Food For Work': CM 'Decision Of Lockdown To Be Taken According To Situation in States'