PM Modi changes mantra from ‘Jaan hai to jahaan hai’ to ‘Jaan bhi jahaan bhi’" width="740" />
At the meeting, also attended by the Union Home Minister, the Defence Minister, the Health Minister, the Principal Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officials of Government, the Prime Minister underlined that the motto of the government earlier was ‘Jaan hai to jahaan hai,’ but now is ‘Jaan bhi jahaan bhi’.
Talking about the Exit Plan from Lockdown, the Prime Minister said there seems to be a consensus among the states on extension of Lockdown by another two weeks.
The Prime Minister observed that the combined effort of the Centre and the states has definitely helped reduce the impact of COVID-19 but since the situation is rapidly evolving, constant vigilance is paramount.
He emphasised the criticality of coming 3-4 weeks for determining the impact of the steps, taken till now to contain the virus, adding that teamwork is the key to facing the challenge.
The Prime Minister categorically assured that India has adequate supplies of essential medicines and said that measures are being taken to ensure availability of protective gear and critical equipment for all front-line workers.
He also gave a stern message against black marketing and hoarding. Condemning and expressing distress at the instances of attacks on the doctors and medical staff, and at incidents of misbehaviour with students from North-East and Kashmir, the Prime Minister underlined that such cases need to be dealt with firmly.
He also spoke about the need to curb Lockdown violations and ensure that social distancing is followed.
Mr Modi talked about strengthening the healthcare infrastructure and reaching out to patients through tele-medicine. He also suggested that direct marketing for farm produce can be incentivised to prevent crowding in mandis, for which model APMC laws should be reformed swiftly. Such steps will help farmers sell products at their doorstep.
The Prime Minister also spoke about popularising the Aarogya Setu app, to ensure downloads in greater numbers. He referred to how South Korea and Singapore got success in contact tracing.
Based on those experiences, India has made it’s own effort through the app, which will be an essential tool in India’s fight against the pandemic, he said. He also referred to the possibility of the app being an e-pass, which could subsequently facilitate travel from one place to another.
Talking about the economic challenges, the Prime Minister said that the crisis is an opportunity to become self-reliant and turn the nation into an economic powerhouse.
In an indication that the Central government is in agreement with the decision to extend the lockdown, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a tweet after the meeting, said, “PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp to extend it.”
Most chief ministers at the conference favored Extension of lockdown to contain the spread of Corona virus.
The Chief Ministers suggested that lockdown should be extended by two weeks. They also sought financial and fiscal assistance from the Centre to boost their resources in this fight against the pandemic.
The Chief Ministers of Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh favoured extension of the lockdown till April 30, sources said.
Speaking at the meeting, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision to continue the lockdown should be taken on a national level.
Mr Kejriwal further said that if the states decide the length of the lockdown on their own, then the fight against the Coronavirus would not be effective.
He added that if the lockdown is eased, all kinds of transport, either rail or road, should not be allowed.
In his comments, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, “It is important to extend the nation-wide lockdown...We need a common relief policy for rabi (winter) crop,"
Speaking during the video conference, the PM said, “I am available 24x7. Any Chief Minister can speak to me and give suggestions (on COVID-19) anytime. We should stand together shoulder-to-shoulder.”
During the meeting, the Chief Ministers provided feedback about the COVID positive cases in their respective states, steps taken by then to maintain social distancing, ramp up healthcare infrastructure, mitigate difficulties of migrants and maintain supply of essentials.
Punjab and Odisha have already announced extending the lockdown beyond April 14 when the current spell of 21-day shutdown across the country ends on Tuesday.
Sources say that PM is likely to give a televised address to the nation again to announce the lockdown extension.
The sources said that even though the government agreeable to an Extension of the lockdown, it is considering to allow industries and construction work to reopen in a phased manner.
Odisha , Punjab and west Bengal have already announced an extension of the lockdown.
The meeting comes amid an increased outbreak of Corona virus in the country with the number of cases of Corona virus crossing the 7000 mark.
More than 200 people across the country have died due to the Corona virus..
In his meeting with the chief Ministers, the PM was seen wearing a mask.
The other Chief Ministers were also seen wearing masks.
This was the third such interaction of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers, the earlier ones had been held on April 2 and March 20.
In his last video conference with the Chief Ministers on April 2, Mr Modi said the Centre and states must have a common plan to ensure staggered movement of people after the national lockdown ends.
The meeting comes even as the Central government has sought views on the issue from all relevant agencies and stakeholders involved in the efforts, to contain the spread of the pandemic. (UNI)