CPI Terms Rs 15,000-Crore Modi Package as Very little
Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja issued the following statement on March 25, 2020 terming PM’s financial package of Rs 15,000 crore for healthcare as 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 Corona pandemic, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for strengthening of personal protection equipment for medical professionals, increasing isolation wards and ICU beds and for training of medical and paramedical manpower as very meagre.
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.
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 Party is of the view that the Prime Minister has not announced any relief package for the poor and unemployed. With the total lockdown, the daily wage earners and the unemployed will not be able to have minimum essentials. Nutritious food is vital to increase immunity. India is already at 102nd position in World Hunger Index out of 117 countries.
Moreover, the situation demands testing of Corona virus widely across the country. Social or physical distancing is a major problem in India. Efforts must be made to improve hygiene and sanitation.
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.