With the third phase of lockdown in place, the Punjab government has announced a major relaxation in the restricted timings of shops that remain open in the state. The state has now allowed shops to remain open between 7 am to 6 pm, with effect from Friday. Earlier, the shops were restricted to remain open between 7 am to 3 pm.
Punjab has reported 1,924 cases of Coronavirus till date while 32 deaths have died. The state has also reported 200 recoveries from the deadly virus.
The move comes along with Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh's call for an extension of lockdown. In the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pitched for extension of lockdown with a well-crafted exit strategy to save lives and secure livelihood. During the video conference meeting with the PM, Capt Amarinder had also sought economic development with greater flexibility in micro-planning for states.
The Exit Strategy should consider and focus on fiscal and economic empowerment of the States, which are responsible for the real action directly impinging upon the livelihood and social health of the common man, said the Chief Minister, suggesting that States should be allowed great flexibility in micro-planning, with MSMEs to be allowed to function in Red Zone districts with proper safeguards. Captain Amarinder demanded urgent financial assistance to States to meet at least 33% of their committed liabilities, along with revenue grants to the states for 3 months to meet the shortfall in revenue and to fund expenditure on COVID-19.