Rajnath Singh chairs GoM meet on coronavirus; efforts of ministries reviewed

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The Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met for the fifth time on Saturday to discuss ways to mitigate the hardships that are being faced by people across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.

The meeting was chaired by Rajnath Singh.

Government sources said the GoM on coronavirus crisis also reviewed various measures that are being initiated by concerned ministries to allow partial economic activity in “non-hotspot zones” from April 20.

“Interacted with the GoM on the Covid-19 situation. We discussed ways to mitigate the hardships faced by the people and the role ministries can play in providing relief to people,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.

The lockdown had shone the spotlight on the miseries of lakhs of migrant workers whose journeys on foot from several urban centres to their villages hundreds of kilometres away had grabbed headlines for many days last month.

Several opposition parties have demanded the government to announce specific welfare measures to help poor people as the lockdown has triggered job losses due to economic disruptions.

The guidelines to allow limited activities and the measures as announced by the Reserve Bank of India were also appreciated in the meeting.

“The GoM obtained feedback from various ministers on the overall situation. It appreciated the decision of gradual opening up of economic activity in areas which have not reported any coronavirus cases,” PTI reported quoted an unnamed source.

It said that sources said the GoM also appreciated disbursement of Rs 31,000 crore to more than 33.25 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to help the economically weaker sections of population.

The meeting was attended by Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Civil Aviation Minsister Hardeep Singh Puri were also among those who attended the meeting.

India went under a total shutdown of 21 days from March 25 to April 14 to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extending the lockdown till May 3, adding the drastic measures would be relaxed in some areas from April 20.

On Wednesday, the Home Ministry issued detailed guidelines allowing certain sectors to resume their economic activities from April 20. According to the Union Health Ministry, India has recorded a total of 14,378 coronavirus cases and 480 people lost their lives in the infection.

(With inputs from PTI)

IndiaToday.in has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, check out our data analysis of cases in India, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.

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About the author: Sohom Das
Founder of Tuccho.

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