The Communist Party of India on Wednesday reacted to the financial package of Rs 15,000 crore for healthcare in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and called it very little.
"The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India is of the strong view that the financial package of Rs 15,000 crore for healthcare in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for strengthening of personal protection equipment for medical professionals, increasing isolation wards and ICU beds and for the training of medical and paramedical manpower as very meager," CPI said in a statement.
The Communist Party has accused the Modi government of approaching pro-rich, pro-corporate policies. "Party considers that the Modi government which has been pursuing pro-rich, pro-corporate policies and giving massive concession to them including cutting down the corporate tax must now show some concern for the poor people by imposing COVID-19 tax on all corporates and high-net-worth taxpayers so that the poor hit by lockdown get some relief. A state like Kerala has allotted Rs 20,000-crore financial package," the statement reads.
"It may be noted here that if the Centre's allotment is distributed among its states, it comes to a meagre sum of around Rs 500 crores for each state. Rather than making a ritual package, the government should have announced a comprehensive economic package and allotted more funds to meet the requirements," the statement added. The Party also accused the Prime Minister of not announcing any relief package for the poor and unemployed and said: "With the total lockdown, the daily wage earners and the unemployed will not be able to have minimum essentials," it added.
In its statement, The CPI also asked the Narendra Modi headed central government to learn something from the Centre. "The Party wants the government to be more sensitive to the poorer section of the people and accordingly raise the allotment manifold, drawing lesson from the LDF government of Kerala," it said.
Amid the rising Coronavirus cases in India, PM Modi on Tuesday, announced a 21-day lockdown throughout India starting at midnight on Tuesday. He said that 21 days were necessary for breaking the transmission cycle of the pandemic. The 21-day curfew applies to all states, districts, and villages - irrespective of whether they are currently under curfew or not.
During his Tuesday address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi also announced an emergency financial package of Rs 15,000 crore for healthcare - strengthening of personal protection equipment for medical professionals, increasing isolation wards and ICU beds, and for the training of medical and paramedical manpower.
(with inputs from ANI)