Maha govt unlikely to lift COVID-19 curbs from June 1: Tope

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Mumbai, May 27 (PTI) The Maharashtra government is unlikely to lift the lockdown-like curbs in the state after June 1 since the COVID-19 positivity rate was more than 10 per cent in 21 districts, health minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday.

However, relaxation in statewide restrictions, in force till June 1 to stem the spread of coronavirus, can be given in places where the case positivity rate is less, he said.

Talking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Tope said an elaborate presentation on the COVID-19 situation was made during the meet and it revealed the case positivity rate (percentage of people testing positive among those tested) was more than 10 per cent in 21 districts (out of 36 districts).

'The cabinet felt it wasn't right to lift the curbs presently in force altogether,' he said, adding relaxation can be given in places where positivity rate is less.

Meanwhile, energy minister Nitin Raut said the issue of filling up vacancies in thereserved category for promotions in government jobs will be discussed at a meeting of a cabinet sub-committee, to be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, scheduled on June 1.

Raut said the previous BJP government had filled up vacancies in promotions of the open category through a GR (government resolution) issued on December 29, 2017, but left the reserved category untouched.

'The issue would be discussed in the cabinet sub- committee since the matter was sub-judice,' he said.

A 33 per cent reservation in promotions for government employees under SC, ST, VJNT (Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes) and SBC (Special Backward Classes) categories was introduced on April 25, 2004, through a GR.

The Bombay High Court struck down the GR in August 2017 and the order was challenged in the Supreme Court.

The Maharashtra government had cited the 2017 HC decision while issuing a GR earlier this month which scrapped reservation in promotions.

On May 7, the General Administration Department issued an interim government resolution (GR) or order removing the reservation in promotions for public servants belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, VJNT and SBC categories.

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