Rahul Gandhi welcomed the Centre's financial package amid Coronavirus lockdown. (File photo)
Welcoming the financial package announced by the Centre to cushion the blows of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday said it was the first step in the right direction.
"The Govt announcement today of a financial assistance package is the first step in the right direction," the Wayanad MP tweeted. "India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women & the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown."
The Govt announcement today of a financial assistance package, is the first step in the right direction. India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women & the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown.#Corona
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 26, 2020
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore worth economic package involving free food grain and cooking gas to the poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees, as it looked to contain the impact of unprecedented nationwide lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Congress leader had been warning the government over the menace of COVID-19 since February. A couple of days ago, he had said that the country had time to prepare and that the threat should have been taken more seriously. He had asked the central government to provide cash support and free rations to daily wagers and poor.
As per the latest briefing by the Health Ministry, the number of COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 649. including 42 who have recovered and 13 deaths.