Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called the pandemic a 'tough attack' on India's 'fragile economy' and urged the government to take immediate steps to curb the spread of COVID-19. In the tweet, Rahul Gandhi, in addition, taking a dig at the 'Janta Curfew' announced by the Prime Minister for Sunday said that 'clapping' won't help the daily wage workers, small and medium businessmen. Rahul Gandhi called the need for a 'huge economic package' such as cash help, tax breaks, and debt repayment.
"Coronavirus is a tough attack on our fragile economy. Small, medium businessmen and daily wage workers are the worst affected. Clapping won't help them. Today, a huge economic package is needed such as cash help, tax breaks and debt repayment. Take quick steps," the former Congress chief said in a tweet in Hindi.
However, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur on Tuesday claimed that there has been adverse impact of the Coronavirus on the country's economy, citing the latest data on trade and domestic output. "As is true for the world at large, India's near-term macroeconomic outlook also vulnerable to disruption of trade with China and 2nd-round effects arising from an expected slowdown in global growth. However, the latest available data on trade and indicators of domestic output doesn't suggest any adverse impact on the economy," stated MoS Finance Thakur in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
On Sunday, when people will thank health care providers and emergency responders, many in the national capital will clap, ring bells, and raise slogans from their homes demanding the government to rescind its decision to update the NPR in view of the new coronavirus pandemic. Civil society group United Against Hate has urged people to protest against the National Register of Citizens, National Population Register and amended citizenship law at 5 pm on Sunday from their balconies, windows, and gates.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to remain inside their homes under a self-imposed curfew on Sunday and thanks health care providers and emergency responders who are on the frontline combating the pandemic by clapping and ringing bells. Responding to tweets by leaders on his call for a "Janta curfew", he said "bipartisan support in such efforts is deeply appreciated. We have to fight this menace together".
Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Supriya Sule had tweeted, saying as a responsible citizen of the country, she pledged her support to the "Janta curfew" announced by Modi. The prime minister also referred to tweets by Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, who said these were testing times for the nation and everyone must fight with resilience and social distancing.
Pitching for "social distancing" in his address to the nation on Thursday, Modi called for a "Janta curfew" from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of their houses and asserted that it will be a litmus test to show India's readiness to take on the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak.