Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have another video conference with state Chief Ministers at 3 pm tomorrow. The meeting will be the fifth since the lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus started on March 25. Sources indicated that the discussion will be held on the easing of the lockdown, which is expected to end on May 17 and the areas where restrictions might be eased. The Centre has already made it clear that the lifting of the lockdown will be phased and done slowly over a period but not in containment and hot spot zones.
The cessation of economic activities for over five weeks has hit businesses and state revenues badly. Over the last couple of weeks, most states have eased restrictions in areas that need most, including agriculture, construction activity and MNREGA works. Last week, most states also resumed the sale of liquor, a huge source of revenue.
With medical professionals indicating that eradicating coronavirus might be a long way off, the focus is now on resumption of normalcy without allowing the virus room to spread.
Several rounds of meetings have already been held on the subject, in which several union ministers and state ministers have participated.
At tomorrow’s meet, PM Modi and the Chief Ministers are also expected to discuss the issue of stranded migrants, over which a lot of concern has been expressed by states.
Earlier today, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a video conference with Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of all the states and Union Territories.
Sources said a lot of states raised objections to the red, green and orange zone markings, saying with the way the number of cases are rising in districts with the return of migrants, most of the districts will come under red zone.
Several states argued that this will make a return to normalcy difficult and wanted a calibrated way to lift the lockdown.
They suggested that in case of the current colour coding rules, areas with quarantine centres be notified as red zones.