New Delhi, Mar 25 : In the view of nation-wide lockdown to contain Coronavirus spread, the Congress on Wednesday demanded implementation of the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme to meet the needs of poor sections of the society. The Congress said, NYAY, a minimum income guarantee scheme, announced by Congress on March, 29, 2019, which includes cash transfer of Rs 7,500 in every Jan Dhan account, every PM Kisan account, every pension account besides distribution of free ration through PDS, is the necessity of the hour and 'we will rise together as a nation and defeat COVID2019'.
'We stand with lockdown but are deeply disappointed by the lack of coherent strategy or a clear way ahead on your (Prime Minister's) part. Please remember, trying times are true test of leadership. Is Government ready to rise up and deliver?,' asked AICC communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala in a series of tweets, a day after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nation-wide 21-day lockdown. Stating that India will adhere to lockdown, he asked what steps did the government take to tackle the Corona pandemic despite early warnings in February, when will doctors, nurses and health workers have adequate protection? and how many 'isoation beds' and ventilators are available & where?.
'What is your plan to address the huge issue of bread and butter and livelihood for millions? How will daily wagers, labourers, MGNREGA workers, factory workers, unorganised workers, fishermen, farmers and farm labour sustain for 21 days,' Mr Surjewala asked. In another tweet, the Congress spokesperson said, 'the crying need is to arm our doctors, nurses and health workers with Personal Protection Equipment and added 'but why are N-95 Masks, Hazmat Suits are not available?' 'In March itself, India needs 7.25 lakh body suits, 60 lakh N-95 masks, 1 crore 3 Ply masks? When will they be available?,' he asked. Mr Surjewala said 84 days after the spread of the pandemic, the Government banned export of ventilators, respiratory devices and sanitisers only yesterday on March 24, and added, 'it is the sad truth'.
'Is this your government's modus operandi to fight Coronavirus? Too little, too late,' he charged. Referring to the Prime Minister's address to the nation, Mr Surjewala said nation heard his two addresses of 50 minutes on Coronavirus and added, 'you announced no relief for daily wagers, MGNREGA workers, fishermen, factory and unorganised workers, farm labour and millions more.'
Pointing out that two third population of the country is engaged in agriculture, Mr Surjewala alleged that Mr Modi did not utter a word for farmers. 'Crop is ready for harvest in March itself. How will it be harvested and sold and who will buy at fair price? Have you even thought of farmers' woes?', he asked and added, providing relief to farmers is the only way forward in these testing times. Please put a moratorium on farmers loans and recoveries and ensure procurement of crops at MSP'. 'Let's not forget, farmers are the backbone of India's economy,' he added.
Referring to the Prime Minister's speech, the Congress spokesperson said the former gave only 4 hours to prepare for a 21-day lockdown. 'Dear Prime Minister, did you think of over 5 lakh truck drivers, who are now stranded on roads? Did you think of millions of workers, who are stranded in cities away from home without food or money? What should they do?,' he asked. 'Need of the hour is to implement forth with 'Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme' (NYAY) mooted by Rahul ji and Congress. Please transfer Rs 7,500 to every Jan Dhan account, PM Kisan account and every pension account to tide over nutrition needs of 21 days and give free PDS ration,' Mr Surjewala said. (UNI)