Have arranged 1,000 buses at state borders for migrant workers: MP CM (Ld)

<br>Explaining the strategy for the lockdown 4.0, Chouhan said he would allow economic activity in the state, but no permission will be given to carry on any religious or industrial activities in the containment zones.

He said barbers in the salons, which have been closed since the lockdown, will be provided a financial package in the coming days.

In a video conference with a group of mediapersons, Chouhan said, “To date, we have brought back over 3.84 lakh migrant workers of the state from different parts of the country.”

Speaking about the people of other states walking back to their native states through Madhya Pradesh, he said, “In Madhya Pradesh, we have arranged for over 1,000 buses at the state borders for the migrant workers of other states travelling through Madhya Pradesh.”

“We have also made arrangement for their breakfast and lunch at the border districts,” he said.

He said that he has asked his counterparts in other states from where labourers are starting and their home states to coordinate with him in order to ensure that “nobody travels on foot.”

“I have called up my counterparts in states where these groups of people are walking from to the destination state. If the states can inform us in advance as to how many people we can expect, we will be better prepared to help, and the states where they are headed will also be able to make arrangements when they reach their borders,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also noted that the problem during the lockdown was “massive” and due to the continued extension of the lockdown period “even those who were earlier prepared to wait out this period had lost hope and patience”.

Responding to an IANS question of his government’s strategy for the lockdown 4.0, which will commence from May 18, Chouhan said, “When lockdown was announced, our objective was ‘jaan bhi, jahan bhi’. And now as Prime MInister Narendra Modi has also talked about starting economic activities, we will allow economic activities in industries by following all safety protocols.”

The Chief Minister said economic activities will not be allowed in the containment zones and no permission will be given for public ceremonies and religious programmes during lockdown 4.0.

He said his government will provide a financial package to barbers and salons as the sector has remained closed since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown on March 25.

He said his government has deposited over Rs 13,600 crore in the bank accounts of the people under different schemes. “We are in the process of identifying more sectors that have been hit by the lockdown amid the lockdown,” the Chief Minister said.

To a question how Madhya Pradesh government will attract investment in the state as a number of foreign companies are now willing to invest in India, he said the state government has made the rules simpler for granting licence to start an industry.

“Earlier to start an MSME industry, one had to fill 63 forms for taking permission from different offices. Now the entire process has been made easier and everything has been done online. Now anyone can get permission by filling the online form and get the permission the same day,” he said.

Chouhan also acknowledged that the state’s finances were a “worry” but his government was trying to arrange some off-budget borrowing for specific projects. He said that like other states, “we have also asked to make suitable amendments to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) Act”, wherein the limit for borrowing for the states could be raised from 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

“We will be able to raise Rs 15,000-16,000 crore through this and it will give us some breathing space fiscally,” he said.

Highlighting some of the decisions for the farmers, he said farmers will gain from the amendments made to the Mandi Act in Madhya Pradesh, where the farmers and private organisations have been allowed to directly deal with each other and arrive at an agreed price for their produce.

He also noted that the changes made to labour laws would help kick-start the economy. “So far, Madhya Pradesh has seen an enrolment of up to 19 lakh people under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA),” he said.

(Anand SIngh can be contacted at–IANS


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