Assam asks Centre to extend lockdown for two more weeks

Assam asks Centre to extend lockdown for two more weeks

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said he has urged the Centre about extending lockdown by two more weeks beyond May 17.

Most Chief Ministers of northeastern states during a discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing on Monday last demanded extension of the lockdown and were keen to restart economic activities and public services in a larger way. They had also stressed strengthening the health infrastructure.

“I have written to the centre requesting to extend the lockdown by two more weeks. All the states by Friday have to write to the Centre on the lockdown and related aspects. The center would then take a final call on the extension and other criteria,” the Chief Minister told the media.

Referring a study by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), he said that due to the COVID-19 and lockdown, Assam has suffered Rs 1,000 crore daily.

Sonowal said Assam has over one lakh micro, small and medium enterprises and over 40 lakh people are directly and indirectly associated with the MSME sector. “With the financial packages announced by the Centre, the MSME sector in Assam would be benefited immensely,” he said.

I have met all industrial bodies, renowned economists and others and gathered their views. Accordingly, I have sent the Assam’s requirement to the centre,”
he said, adding that after getting the recommendations of the economic advisory committee, the state government would take action to boost the state’s economy.

The Assam Chief Minister earlier this month had constituted an economic advisory committee in a bid to revive the economy and break the stagnation arised due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 8-member economic advisory committee led by retired IAS officer Subhash Das would study the various aspects of the state’s economy and give recommendations to bring back economic buoyancy through systematic steps.

Sonowal urged people not to be panicky and called for a united fight against the pandemic.

Assam has so far detected 86 COVID-19 positive cases with 22 more fresh coronavirus cases being reported from the state’s main city of Guwahati on Wednesday and Thursday.

Of the 86 positive cases, there are currently 43 active cases while 40 people have been discharged from hospitals after they recovered from the virus and a patient migrated to Bihar.

In Assam, two persons have so far died of the dreaded disease. (IANS)