Maharashtra, which on Sunday extended the lockdown to all urban centres, is putting a plan in place to tackle the economic challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
“We are working to find a solution to the financial challenges caused by the Covid-19 crisis and a working group has been formed to look into it,” said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Covid-19 has so far infected 74 persons in the state.
On Friday, the state government announced that all non-essential services, including private offices and stores in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur would remain shut till March 31. Stock exchanges, stock broking offices, clearing corporation and primary dealers under ambit of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India will remain open. On Sunday, the restrictions were enhanced and section 144 of the Indian Penal Code was imposed in all urban areas in the state.
Groceries, milk centres, pharmacies and banks are exempt from the restrictions. Suburban trains, state and city transport buses will be shut for public. Buses will be only available to those providing essential services. All government offices will function with 5 per cent attendance and local trains and buses will continue to operate as usual in Mumbai to allow smooth functioning of essential services. Factories can function at 50 per cent staff strength, the state government said.
“If the crisis continues or intensifies after March 31 we will not hesitate to take further steps for public safety,” Thackeray said.