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AITUC demands Rs five lakh Cr package to deal with COVID-19 from Central Govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Wednesday demanded a Rs 5 lakh crore package from the central government to deal with COVID-19 outbreak, saying the Rs 15,000-crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a "meagre amount".

"AITUC demands of Rs 500,000 crore package from the Central Government to meet this calamity," an AITUC statement said.

"We at the AITUC while take the lockdown as necessary step as a preventive measure to stop the spread of Covid-19 infection, are extremely disappointed at very meagre amount of Rs 15000 crore allocated by the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on 24th March whereas for small state like Kerala announced Rs 20,000 crores package."

The union demanded from Modi government to immediately come out with a clear policy and package to deal with all these issues at the earliest otherwise anxieties of no work and no food amongst masses will create problems in dealing with Covid 19 Pandemic.

It said that the poor masses who are daily wagers / casual/ migrant/ agriculture workers or are self employeed as hawkers-vendors, those who are coolies/porters/loaders unloaders, domestic workers etc. are losing their livelihood in the lockdown/ curfew situation have been left in the lurch for nothing to bank upon.

They need immediate financial relief, free ration and free fuel to cook food. In many cases for destitute food should be provided from state-run outlets. This requires a big economic package from the government, it suggested.

"The Finance Minister was only busy in announcing an increase in deadlines for filing IT returns, GST, about TDS or the cases under bankruptcy act etc. but no announcement for the 40 crores (informal sector workers) out of about 54 crores of working people who are looking towards the incumbent government for help," it said.

It was of the view that the government has to immediately increase the financial package for health to tackle emergent needs of medical fraternity and the expansion of health infrastructure.

It noted that the dire need of the country is for testing and provision of all-out medical help to all those infected cases.

A warlike preparation is needed for the provision of ventilators, masks, increased bed capacity, availability of medicines, maintenance of hygiene etc.

The front soldiers in the case of medical help are our doctors, nurses, other para-medical staff and cleaning staff etc. who need to be taken care of.

But it is they who are being neglected and not fully equipped as the requests and complaints from them including from AIIMS Resident Doctors Association are all in open for all to see, it said.

"We deplore that the government of India allowed export of all these required equipment in fighting Covid-19 till 19th March 2020 despite WHO guidelines to stop it at the beginning of February itself," it added.

The harassment of doctors, nurses etc to vacate residential premises is a most shameful act which must be taken cognizance of by the concerned authorities and the guilty be booked to give a clear signal to the society, it said.

The workers and employees of the permitted essential services by the government are not being allowed to commute the workplaces by police in many areas despite they have ID (identity) proofs provided by the government departments and public sector offices, it stated.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 17:40 IST