P Chidambaram, the former finance minister in a statement today has suggested a slew of measures to bridge over the fall out of 21 day lock down on the poor and underprivileged section of country.
In a statement issued on Twitter he has suggested a 10 point plan to assuage the distress on financial health of Indian citizens who are coping with the disastrous effects of Covid 19 pandemic at one hand and the 21 days lock down at the other.
P Chidambaram while describing the nationwide lock down as a “watershed moment” in the battle against Covid-19 said, ” “We should put behind us the debates that took place before March 24 and look upon the nationwide lock down as the beginning of a new battle in which the people are the foot soldiers and the PM is the commander. We owe a duty to extend our total support to the Prime Minister and the central and state governments.”
He added, “#StayHome is a great rally cry, but to #StayHome people will need money and food. We must plan not for 21 days but some weeks beyond the lock down period. Besides current employment and wages must be protected.”
CHIDAMBARAM’S 10 POINT PLAN
- Government should double the amount paid/payable under PM-KISAN to Rs 12,000 and transfer the additional amount immediately to the bank account of each beneficiary.
- Government should extend the deadlines for payment of any kind of tax till 30 June 2020. In the interim, banks can be instructed to lend to panchayats, municipalities and corporations against the security of the tax receivables.
- Government should instruct banks to extend the date for any kind of EMI payments till 30 June 2020.
- Government should cut GST rates by 5 per cent on all wage goods, essential goods and services, and all goods of mass consumption for the period 1 April to 30 June.
- Government should fund transfers in two instalments of Rs 6,000 each to bank accounts of tenant farmers.
- Government should transfer fund of Rs 3,000 into the bank account of each MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) worker.
- Government should transfer a sum of Rs 6,000 through for urban poor Jan Dhan account.
- Government should give 10 kg of rice or wheat free to every ration card holder, as a one-time measure over the next 21 days through home delivery.
- Government should ask all registered employers (registered under any law) to maintain current levels of employment and wages. Government should promise to reimburse employers who do so within 30 days of payment.
- Government should open a register in every ward or block and invite persons who have not received payment under any of the categories listed above to register their name, address and Aadhaar. Street people and destitutes will fall under this category. After minimal verification, open a bank account in each name [if there is not already one], seed it with Aadhaar and transfer Rs. 3,000 into each bank account.