Punjab: Captain backs PM’s lockdown move, demands central aid to support poor

Amarinder Singh, India lockdown, coronavirus relief fund, Punjab news, indian express news

The Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to also come out with a comprehensive package immediately to ensure that the citizens are not deprived of basic essential services in this 3-week period. (File photo)

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday termed the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by the Prime Minister as “necessary” to save millions of lives from the deadly COVID-19. However, he lamented the Centre’s failure to announce an immediate relief package for the lakhs of poor and daily wagers who could not survive without government support.

Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement, a government statement quoted the CM saying that it was imperative to break the coronavirus cycle, for which such extreme steps were necessary, as the analysis of several other nations had already shown. However, it was equally important, he said, to support those left with no means to fulfill their daily basic needs.

The Chief Minister, while welcoming the Rs 15,000 crore allocation by the Centre to upgrade the health, medical and research facilities in the country, urged the Prime Minister to also come out with a comprehensive package immediately to ensure that the citizens are not deprived of basic essential services in this 3-week period.

At the same time, Amarinder urged the people to pledge themselves to fight the COVID war by staying at home, thus protecting themselves, their families, their relatives and friends, and also those lakhs of doctors/nurses/paramedical staff, the police, the media and other service providers who were working 24X7 in the face of extreme risk.

Punjab sets up COVID Relief Fund

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday set up Punjab CM COVID Relief Fund as a separate entity for donations to fight the crisis in the state. While appealing to the people to donate generously to the fund, the Chief Minister also sought from the Centre exemption for the same on the lines of the exemptions provided to the CM Relief Fund. “The COVID Relief Fund account would enable people to make contributions electronically through various payment gateways facilitating quick and easy transfer,” a government statement said.

All contributions can be made to the account: Punjab Chief Minister Covid Relief Fund (Account No: 50100333026124 /Account Type: Saving/IFSC Code HDFC0000213/Swift Code: HDFCINBB/Branch Code: 0213/Branch Name: Chandigarh, Sector 17-C).

Thanking the people, the CM said that their instant response to assist the government and their fellow Punjabis in his hour of distress would go a long way in mitigating their hardships to a large extent.