NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold his fifth video-conference meeting with Chief Ministers on Monday afternoon to assess the Covid-19 situation in the country. Increasing economic activities, easing lockdown restrictions and issues faced by migrant workers are likely to be discussed in the meeting. The focus of the deliberations will be economy and Covid-19 containment efforts, sources said.
Many states have already raised objection to the marking parameters of areas into green, orange and red zones and deciding relaxations based on that. States also fear a spurt in cases due to the return of migrant workers to their native villages. Such issues could be raised in the meeting on Monday, sources said.
More relaxations are likely but Covid-19 hotspots and containment zones will continue to face tight restrictions.
The Centre has already made it clear that lifting of the lockdown will be carried out in a phased manner.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chose to skip the previous video-conference, will attend Monday’s meet. “This time it will be a pretty long session, where some crucial issues on the economy will be discussed. The chief minister will attend the meeting an share his opinion,” sources said.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee will also attend. She had attended the previous session but did not get time to express the state’s stance. According to the sources, Banerjee will try to raise Amit Shah’s letter accusing her government of doing injustice to Bengal-bound migrants. Meanwhile, the Centre decided to deploy teams to 10 states with heavy caseloads.
The Central teams will assist the health departments of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to manage the pandemic.
Halting economic activities for over five weeks has hit businesses and state revenues. Over the past couple of weeks, most states have eased restrictions in agriculture, construction and MNREGA works.
Last week, many states resumed the sale of liquor, a huge source of revenue for the government.