via Congress Leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, @rssurjewala –
Remarks of Congress President Sonia Gandhi at CWC Meeting today :
- Since our meeting three weeks ago, the pandemic has increased disturbingly – both in spread and speed.
- Sections of our society face acute hardship-particularly our kisans-khet mazdoors, migrant labour, construction workers and in the unorganized sector. Trade, commerce and industry have come to a virtual halt and crores of livelihoods have been destroyed.
- I offered our constructive cooperation & suggestions… Unfortunately, they have been acted upon only partially and in a miserly way. The compassion, large-heartedness and alacrity from the Central Government is conspicuous by its absence.
- We have repeatedly urged the Prime Minister that there is no alternative to Testing, Trace and Quarantine. Unfortunately, testing still remains low and testing kits are still in short supply and of poor quality. PPE kits number and quality is poor.
- Migrant laborers are still stranded, jobless and desperate to return home. They have been hit the hardest. They must be provided with food security and a financial safety net in order to survive this period of crisis.
- As the lockdown continues, all sections of our society continue to face acute hardship and distress… The Central govt does not appear to have a clear idea on how the situation will be managed after 3rd May.
- Farmers are facing serious difficulties too. The issues of weak and unclear procurement policies and disrupted supply chains need to be addressed without delay…. facilities must be made available to the farmers for the next round of Kharif crops.
- 12 crore jobs have been lost in the first phase of the lockdown. Unemployment is likely to increase further as economic activity remains at a standstill. It is imperative to provide at least Rs.7,500 to each family to tide over this crisis.
- MSMEs employ close to 11 crore personnel today. They make up for one third of the GDP. If they are to be protected from economic ruin, it is imperative that a special package be announced urgently for their survival.
- There are a few success stories and we should applaud them. Most of all we should salute every single Indian leading the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic inspite of the absence of adequate personal protection equipment.
- The doctors, nurses, paramedics, health workers, sanitation workers and essential service providers, NGO and the lakhs of citizens providing relief to the most needy all over India. Their dedication and determination truly inspire us all.