Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Wednesday stated that the Centre permitted re-opening of liquor shops after Chief Ministers of several states requested the Prime Minister for it. Reddy detailed that during the video-conference meeting between the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of all states, the CMs sought the re-opening of liquor shops to boost state revenue which had taken a hit due to the lockdown. He added that CMs told PM Modi that their states do not have money to pay salaries to government employees as well.
The re-opening of liquor shops has severely impacted the law and order situation across the country. Scenes of crowds gathering, huge queues outside shops without any social distancing have been witnessed across the country after the sale of liquor re-started. However, certain states like Kerala have refrained from permitting the shops to re-open. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation also withdrew its order allowing liquor shops to open after crowding of people was witnessed.
Furthermore, Reddy also claimed that many US companies with an operating base in China are now looking towards India, post-COVID-19. During a webinar organized by the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) on 'Understanding MHA guidelines,' Reddy said the central government was taking all measures to control the coronavirus and at the same time opening up the economic activities in orange and green zones. He claimed that so far Rs 2,50,000 crore was spent in fighting COVID at the central and state levels.
The MoS highlighted that the country had one testing lab in Pune back in March but has testing labs across the country. He also detailed that 251,523 isolated dedicated beds for COVID patients have been made ready along with 27,000 ICU beds, adding that the government has placed orders for 60,884 ventilators, of which we have already got 19,000.
(with inputs from agencies)