Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday held several meetings with his ministry's officials ahead of the announcement of guidelines for the fourth-phase of the coronavirus-induced lockdown that begins from Monday, officials said. HM Shah, who was in his North Block office for nearly five hours on Friday, held meetings with top officials of the ministry, including Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.
Senior officials have been busy in finalising the guidelines for the fourth-phase of the lockdown, a home ministry official said. However, details of the Home Minister's meetings were not known immediately.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, had said that the lockdown 4.0 will have a "completely different form", with new rules. PM Modi had also said the guidelines will come before May 18. Officials said greater relaxations and flexibility will be seen in the lockdown-4, which will begin on Monday, with gradual reopening of railways and domestic airlines while powers will the given to states and union territories to define COVID-19 hotspots. The final guidelines will be issued by the home ministry only after going through suggestions of state governments. State governments and union territories administrations were supposed to submit their recommendations by Friday.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah lauded the announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme and said that they are follow the principle of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas'. In the first tranche of economic relief, the FM announced reforms that involved 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for businesses, Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund, redefining 'MSME', disallowing global tenders upto Rs 200 crores, Rs.30,000 crore liquidity facility for NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs, Rs.90,000 crore liquidity injection for DISCOMs among a few.
In the second tranche, nine measures were announced toa id migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers, self-employed people. Among them were free food grains, nationalised ration card, affordable rental housing for urban poor, etc.In its third tranche, 11 measures were announced - of which 8 of them focused on strengthening infrastructure, capacities, and building better logistics in agriculture, fisheries, and animal husbandry, while the rest three pertained to governance and administrative reforms.