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Communicate In Clear Terms Lockdown Exit Strategy’: Opposition Lists 11 Demands For Centre On Covid-19

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Leaders of 22 opposition parties on Friday accused the Centre of “unabashedly” usurping powers of states and demanded restoration of Parliament functioning and oversight with immediate effect.

The opposition parties also demanded immediate reversal of all ‘unilateral policy decisions’, especially on the changes in labour laws.

The leaders, who attended a meeting of opposition parties convened by the Congress through video conferencing, discussed the current situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown induced by it.

They put forth an 11-point charter of demands for the Centre at the virtual meeting.

1. Direct Cash Transfer of Rs 7,500 per month to all families, outside the Income Tax bracket, for six months. Rs.10,000 to be paid immediately, with the balance being paid equally across the remaining five months.

2. Free distribution of 10 kg food grains to all needy individuals, each month for the next six  months. Increase the number of MGNREGA work days to 200 and provide the necessary budgetary support.

3. Free  transportation for all migrant workers to their native places. Also, make immediate and   reliable arrangements to rescue all Indian students and other citizens stranded overseas.

4. Provide accurate and relevant information on Covid-19 infections and goalposts vis-à-vis testing, infrastructure and containing spread.

5. Reverse all unilateral policy decisions, particularly the annulment of labour laws.

6. Procure immediately the rabi harvest at the MSP and provide assistance for the produce to reach the market. The government must also provide seeds, fertilisers and other inputs to the farmers to help prepare for the kharif crop.

7. Release substantial funds to the state governments who are in the frontline of combating the pandemic.

8. Communicate in clear terms the Centre’s exit strategy from the lockdown, if any.

9. Restore Parliamentary functioning and oversight with immediate effect.

10. Present  a  clear  and  meaningful  economic strategy focused on revival and  poverty  alleviation instead of propaganda. The Rs 20  lakh crore package and its contents mislead the  people of India.  We demand that government present a revised and comprehensive package  that will be a true fiscal stimulus in order to stimulate demand in the economy.

11. Consult States while allowing international and domestic flights.

(With PTI inputs)

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