Set up multi-party working group on COVID-19: Parties to PM

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on COVID-19 on Wednesday, various political parties demanded that a working group should be constituted with representatives of all parties.

“The suggestion in the meeting was that multiparty working group should be constituted so that all political parties could help the government in this crisis,” said leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.
However most parties were of the view that the lockdown should be extended and to this the Prime Minister replied that he will talk to experts and the Chief Ministers before taking any decisions.
But the government sources say that majority of the stakeholders want that the lockdown should be extended and while some want only phase-wise lifting of the lockdown amid suspension of public transport.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed all the states to ensure the availability of essential goods during the 21-day national lockdown period by fixing stock limits and capping of prices.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has written to all state Chief Secretaries to take urgent steps to ensure availability of the essential goods by invoking provisions of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act 1955.
MHA instructions aim to maintain “smooth supply of essential items” in the country amid the novel coronavirus pandemic that has led to 149 deaths and over 4,500 confirmed cases across the country.
“These measures include fixing of stock limits, capping of prices, enhancing production, inspection of accounts of dealers and other such actions,” Bhalla directed the states.