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Sunday 31 May 2020

Lockdown to end on schedule, hints PM; list 10 KRAs, union ministers told

Today's meeting of the prime minister with his colleagues in the union ministries raises hope for the economy even amid the apprehension that the nation might not be able to break the chain of the COVID contagion by 14 April

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked union ministers to prepare a list of 10 major decisions and as many key result areas (KRAs) once the lockdown ends. Modi said on Monday it was necessary to strategise for the emergent conditions. He said the government must work on a war-footing to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Talking to his council of ministers via video-conferencing, Prime Minister Modi said the ministries must prepare a plan of business continuity. He asked all departments to maintain an objective index on how their work would promote ‘Make in India’.

The prime minister said India needed to lessen its dependence on other countries. He noted urged all policymakers to make a calibrated plan to gradually open departments free of contagions.

The global pandemic offered an opportunity to become self-dependent in the medical sector, the prime minister said.

Modi asked the ministers to suggest actionable points to charge up manufacturing and exports, referring to the fallout of the lockdown on India’s exports. He exhorted his colleagues to make sure new sectors and countries were added to the export net of India.

A PMO release said that the prime minister acknowledged the leadership of his colleagues in the union ministries. He said that the continuous feedback they had provided had been come in handy in the government plan to tackle COVID-19.

10 steps to lifting of lockdown

  1. Modi said it was of utmost importance that the ministers communicated with the states and district administrations at length, more so in places that are COVID hotspots.
  2. The prime minister asked the ministers to get an appraisal of the ground situation and offer solutions to the problems as they emerge.
  3. Modi said the ministers must ensure there would be no crowding at PDS centres, that the situation is effectively monitored, that action is taken on complaints and against black marketing and rise in prices of essentials.
  4. The PMO release read: “Stating that lockdown measures and social distancing must go hand in hand, the Prime Minister said that it is essential to strategise for the emergent conditions once lockdown ends.”
  5. “He asked the ministers to prepare a list of ten major decisions and ten priority areas of focus once lockdown ends while exhorting them to identify and implement pending reforms in their ministries,” read the press release.
  6. The release said, “While mentioning that due to the emergent challenges, the country needs to lessen its dependence on other nations, he asked all departments to maintain an objective index on how their work will promote Make in India.”
  7. Dealing with the causatum of COVID-19 on the economy, the premier said the government ought to work on a war-footing to mitigate the impact. He said the ministries should prepare a “business continuity plan”.
  8. The prime minister asked the departments concerned to make a calibrated plan to gradually open departments where there were no hotspots. He said the situation offered a chance to become self-dependent in the medical sector.
  9. The release said that the prime minister asked the ministers to hand him actionable suggestions on giving a fillip to manufacturing and exports — highlighting the impact on India’s exports.
  10. Modi wants the ministries to ensure that new sectors and countries are added in India’s export net — according to the release.

India has been in lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The prime minister had announced the 21-day lockdown on 24 March after the decision made on 22 March to wind up the closure on 31 March was deemed inadequate to break the infection chain.

Following the rate at which the infection spread after thousands of Tablighi Jamaat members assembled at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi and then spread out all over the country, perhaps under a strategy of bio-terrorism, it was being speculated that the lockdown could be extended.

Today’s meeting of the prime minister with his colleagues in the union ministries raises hope for the economy even amid the apprehension that the nation might not be able to break the chain of the COVID contagion by 14 April.

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