Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday took a pot shot at the Centre and said that four days since the Prime Minister's announcement, the COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has not been set up.
"Woke up to read the shocking news that, four days after the Prime Minister's announcement, the promised Economic Task Force has not been set up by the government!," Chidambaram tweeted.
On March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the formation of a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force to tackle the situation in wake of coronavirus pandemic.
"Keeping in mind the economic challenges arising out of the coronavirus epidemic, the government has decided to constitute COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force led by the Finance Minister. This task force will also ensure that all steps are taken to reduce the economic difficulties and execute them effectively," Modi had said in his address to the nation.He had said that the task force will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly.
On Monday, the former Finance Minister praised chief ministers of various states for declaring lockdown, however, he asserted that doing a lockdown after one month will have "serious and unmanageable consequences".Chidambaram urged the government to learn the lessons from Italy and suggested that piecemeal measures will lag behind the spread of the disease.
Requesting to 'act boldly, act now', he said: "There will be massive economic pain. But it is possible to handle the economic consequences than the loss of numerous lives."
The total number of coronavirus positive cases have risen to 471 in India including nine deaths, the ICMR said.
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