Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting various measures for the welfare of farmers and businesses in view of COVID-19 pandemic. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra suggested removing interests on home loans and suspending all EMIs for the next six months.
In the letter, she also requested the Chief Minister to waive the bank loans of small-scale businesses saying that the loan waiver will save them from bankruptcy.
"As you know, everyone has been affected by coronavirus pandemic. The poor and the working class have reached a critical stage. The economic crisis has also engulfed the middle class. Small businesses are fighting for survival. It has become necessary to help these people," Priyanka said in the letter. In her letter, she also expressed her condolences on the death of Yogi Adityanath's father.
"The cost of education and home loan is a major part of the expenses of the middle class. In such a situation, wavering fee of private schools will be a big relief. Paying the EMIs of their home loan has become a major challenge for the middle class. I suggest that the interest rate on home loan be reduced to zero and the obligation to deposit EMIs should be suspended for the next six months," the letter said.
"Increased electricity rates remain a concern for farmers. I suggest that the electricity bills for past four months of tubewells and household of farmers be waivered. Penalty and interest on their outstanding electricity bills should also be waivered," it added.
Priyanka said that interest rate on farm loans for the past four months should also be wavered and farmers should be assured that all their crops will be procured. She also suggested that incentives should be give to frontline warriors in the fight against coronavirus, including ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers.
"Necessary steps should also be taken for small and micro industries. These industries are no longer capable to function for a long period of time due to the impact of the lockdown. Therefore, helping these small traders has become very necessary," the letter said. Small and medium industries are the economic backbone of Uttar Pradesh and the lives of lakhs of people are dependent of them, Priyanka said and added that "Today they are under a great pressure. Demand and supply is at a standstill. The owners and workers of these industries have come to the verge of complete breakdown."
Earlier on March 30, Yogi Adityanath had transferred Rs 611 crore directly to the bank account of workers of the state under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The fund was transferred to 27.5 lakh labourers. The CM also spoke to workers through video-conference to inform about the government’s scheme, news agency ANI had reported. The amount was pending dues of MGNREGA workers who get 100 days of work in a year under the law.
CM Yogi Adityanath on Monday said migrant workers coming to the state in huge numbers was a challenge for the government, but it was dealing with the issue effectively by launching a scheme of initiatives for them. The matter was raised by Adityanath when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a fresh round of consultation with Chief Ministers on ways to strengthen the COVID-19 containment strategy and stepping up of economic activities in a calibrated manner as the 54-day nationwide lockdown nears an end.
(With Inputs from ANI)