Prepare well before enforcing lockdown, says Cong's Chavan

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Pune, Mar 30 (PTI) Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said the government must compensate for the loss of wages by direct cash transfer in case a lockdown amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases is 'inevitable'.

He claimed the Centre had imposed a nationwide lockdown last year, in March, without any prior preparation, which impacted the economy of the country and over three crore people were pushed below the poverty line.

'So it is important toprepare for the lockdown by taking people into confidence, ensuring minimum impact on the economy and also ensuring how the chain of thevirus can be broken,' Chavan said.

In a press statement, Chavan said the state was witnessing more cases now as compared to 2020, and 'on this background, different opinions are coming forward from administration, medical experts, people from industries and common people'.

He said the state government is in a dilemma over the imposition of lockdown, and added that some points will have to be considered if such a step is taken.

'Before implementing lockdown, the people should be given prior intimation, the lockdown period should be minimum, compensate the loss of wages by direct cash transfer. If need be MLALAD and MPLAD (local area development) funds can be diverted,' Chavan said.

He said the government must ensure the lockdown does not impact transportation of industrial goods and agricultural produce. PTI SPK BNM BNM