P. Chidambaram on Wednesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationwide lockdown announcement a “watershed moment”  

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P. Chidambaram on Wednesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationwide lockdown announcement a “watershed moment”  

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Wednesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationwide lockdown announcement a “watershed moment” within the country’s fight against Coronavirus and appealed to people to be the foot soldiers of Mr. Modi, whom he described because the ‘commander’ of the fight.

The former minister of finance also offered a 10-point cash transfer plan for people to affect the depression that has arisen due to the lockdown.

“We should put behind us the debates that happened before March 24 and appearance upon the nationwide lockdown because the beginning of a replacement battle during which the people are the foot soldiers and therefore the PM is that the Commander. We owe a requirement to increase our total support to the Prime Minister and therefore the Central and State governments,” Mr. Chidambaram said during a two- page statement.

To put cash and food within the hands of individuals , he urged the govt to double the quantity paid/payable under PM-KISAN (to ₹12,000) and transfer the extra amount immediately to the checking account of every beneficiary.

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“Bring tenant farmers under PM-KISAN. Take the lists from the State governments and transfer ₹6000 + ₹6000 (in two instalments) to the checking account of every farmer . Take the lists of registered MGNREGA workers and transfer a sum of ₹3000 into the checking account of every beneficiary,” he said.

For the urban poor, he suggested that the govt transfer ₹6,000 and offer 10 kg of rice or wheat free through public distribution shops to each ration cardholder.

“Open a register in every ward or block and invite persons who haven’t received payment under any of the categories listed above to register their name, address and Aadhaar. Street people and destitutes will fall into this category. After minimal verification, open a checking account in each name [if there’s not already one], seed it with Aadhaar and transfer Rs. 3000 into each checking account ,” he said.

Other suggestions included offering wage subsidy to all or any registered employers who pay their employees during the lockdown period, asking banks to defer payment of EMIs until June 30, extend the deadline to pay taxes until June 30 and hamper goods and services tax (GST) on essential commodities.

“Cut GST rates by 5 per cent on all wage goods, essential goods and services, and every one goods of mass consumption for the amount 1 April to 30 June 2020,” he said.

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