Thu, 02 Jul 2020

New Delhi [India], May 31 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday questioned the role of the Centre in the COVID-19 outbreak and enquired about what it had planned to help the migrants.

"The government told us what we should do, but what will the government do to control this crisis. What will the government do for the migrants who are facing a financial burden? Our migrants are still on the streets, waiting to return to their homes for the last two months. What will the government do to relieve them all?" Yechury told ANI.

Advising the government, Yechury suggested measures of direct cash transfers, along with distribution of foodgrains for the benefit of the migrant workers.

"The government should directly transfer cash to them. Give them foodgrains so that they do not starve. Make arrangements to send them home and provide them with food and drinking water. Strengthen the rural employment scheme and increase its scale so that people can get employment," he further said.

Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued new guidelines for phased re-opening of "all activities outside containment zones for the next one month beginning June 1".

"The guidelines will come into effect from June 1, 2020, and will be effective till June 30, 2020. The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus," MHA said in a release.

The country is under the fourth phase of lockdown which is set to end on May 31. The lockdown was first enforced in March to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The nationwide lockdown that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first announced on March 24 was slated to end on May 17. Modi had on March 24 announced the nationwide lockdown for 21 days. On May 14, the government extended the lockdown till May 3.

On May 1, the Centre further extended the lockdown period to two weeks beyond May 4, with some relaxations. It had also announced Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to combat COVID-19. (ANI)

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