National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday held a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the current challenges triggered by Coronavirus crisis. He suggested ways to boost the state's economy by introducing a policy of "encouraging new incentives" for industry growth and relaxing some conditions of lockdown.
During the meeting, Sharad Pawar gave some suggestions to CM Uddhav on various important issues related to transport, education, agriculture and industry. He said an action plan is needed on how to accommodate those in the industries for whom new employment opportunities have been created in the state and suggested that to attract new investment in the state, it seems necessary to introduce a policy of encouraging new incentives for industry growth.
"The government has emphasized on starting industries in the state by relaxing some conditions of the ongoing lockdown. But these steps are not enough. Factories are not in a position to function as workers from the state and outside the state have migrated to their villages. We need to plan how they will return," he said.
The NCP chief further stressed that the situation in the state will have to be restored by relaxing some conditions of lockdown and the government shall make some arrangements to open shops, offices and private sector establishments in a phased manner. In order to increase imports, exports and inland shipping, consultations should be held with business, entrepreneurs and expert officials in the field, he said.
The former Maharashtra CM further called for setting up a study group or committee to ensure students, teachers and institutes do not suffer and there is no disruption in imparting education.
Pawar pitched for increasing attendance of ministers and officials in offices to give confidence to people that the situation in the state is returning to normalcy. Appropriate orders be issued to ensure ministers and officials are present in their offices, Pawar said, tagging Thackeray's office and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
He expressed concerns towards disarray of transportation service and observed that there is a need to take appropriate steps to gradually restore road transport within the state, as well as plan for the resumption of air and rail services. He insisted on undertaking a mass awareness programme to educate people on maintaining cleanliness and social distancing.
To drive his point, the former Union Minister cited an example of how people in Japan wear masks and maintain personal hygiene in their's lives even when no transmission of the COVID-19 disease is taking place.
(With agency inputs)