Devendra Fadnavis, leader of opposition in the state assembly, feels that continuing strict lockdown in the state was no longer an option and the state government must devise an exit strategy for the period after May 17.
Interacting with the media through videoconferencing, Fadnavis said there was widespread economic distress in both urban and rural areas due to the lockdown. “People have lost their jobs and livelihoods,” he added.
“There is no end to coronavirus pandemic in sight and hence the government must devise a strategy on how to live with the disease. Economic activity continued even during wars. Now, it is time to revive the economy. The government must come out with a plan to restart the processes of the manufacture of raw materials to finished products. Sector-wise task forces must be set up,” said the former chief minister.
Replying to a query, Fadnavis said all shops should be opened now. “However, educational institutions should not be opened for another three months,” he added.
Slamming the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, he said when the state government was required to spend more to reduce economic distress, it was hell-bent on saving money. “I was CM for five years. I know how money can be obtained. However, due to a lack of coordination between ministers and bureaucracy, problems of the state have increased by 50%. The government must begin with using Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 crore available in personal ledger account (PLA),” he said.
Fadnavis admitted that the plight of migrant workers was extreme. “Their exit from the state has now raised a question as to how industries and other sectors would function after lockdown ends. The arrangement should have been made by the state government so that they did not go back,” he said.
The ex-CM stressed that the state government needed to change its industrial policy to attract units from other states. “This should be done after offering protection to workers. Uttar Pradesh has already done that, but Maharashtra government is in deep slumber,” he said.
Fadnavis said orders issued by the local administration and state and central governments were completely contradictory in Nagpur district and hence people were confused. “Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) advises home quarantine for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms, but the reverse is happening in Nagpur,” he added.
(With inputs from timesofindia)