The Congress party has urged the Modi government to issue a notification on deferment of EMI payment of loans due to the 21-day coronavirus lockdown. Party spokesperson Manish Tewari on Tuesday said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should ensure that the Reserve Bank of India’s measure regarding three-month moratorium is followed by the banks in a bid to provide relief to the middle class.
"We request the Finance minister to ensure that the RBI circular regarding EMIs (being deferred for three months) should be issued widely and that interest subvention arrangement should be made for the interest on the deferred EMI payments," he said.
Tewari also urged the government to increase coronavirus screening in the country. He said something needs to be done to increase testing and ensure that India does not enter the community transmission stage of the disease.
"India’s ratio for coronavirus testing is the lowest at 32 for every 10 lakh people while in the UK it is 921 for every 10 lakh people and the USA it is 2,600 for every 10 lakh people," he said.
The Health Ministry has maintained that the Covid-19 is in the second stage in India. This means, the source of the transmission can be traced. In the third phase which is called community transmission, the source cannot be traced and thus it becomes difficult to contain the spread of virus.
According to the Health Ministry data, the country has reported 1,251 positive coronavirus cases so far. This includes over 30 deaths.
The Congress leader further said the government should make arrangements for procurement and storage of Rabi crop as farmers are facing the brunt due to the lockdown during the harvesting season.
On the religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, he said that this is not the time for a blame-game and demanded to increase the isolation facilities.
Meanwhile, police and paramilitary personnel have cordoned off a major area in Nizamuddin West after several people who took part in a religious congregation between March 1 and 15 showed COVID-19 symptoms.