CMs stressed on lockdown extension, sought financial help: Puducherry CM Narayanasamy after meeting PM Modi

Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy said that most CMs across the country emphasized on extension of the 21-day nationwide lockdown for 2 more weeks, during their videoconference meeting with PM on Saturday

 Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy (File photo)
Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy (File photo)
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IANS

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Saturday said that most CMs across the country emphasized on the extension of the 21-day nationwide lockdown for two more weeks, during their videoconference meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee highlighted alleged politics being pursued by Governors and Lt Governors of a few states and the union territories amid the lockdown due to coronavirus scare.

Speaking to reporters via videoconference, Narayanasamy said: "Most Chief Ministers who spoke asked for the extension of the lockdown. The Prime Minister also said that it was a must, looking at the global situation, and therefore our country should also move cautiously."

"All were of the unanimous view that the lockdown be extended. The Prime Minister supported it and an official announcement will come," he said.

Narayanasamy said around a dozen Chief Ministers spoke at the meeting, which started at 11 am and ended at 3 pm.

The Prime Minister advised states to ensure supply of oxygen in hospitals and treatment of other patients also, as also to encourage telemedicine.

Narayanasamy said that Modi initially remarked that coronavirus had affected the world and our country. "And that is why he wanted to speak to the Chief Ministers to discuss ways to control coronavirus," he said.

The Puducherry Chief Minister said that they apprised the Prime Minister that many states don't have sufficient funds, business and industries had closed and all economic activities come to a standstill.

The Chief Ministers demanded financial support from the Centre, he added.

Narayanasamy said that most Chief Ministers asked how long industries could keep their workers in the absence of proper shelters. Moreover, the migrant workers wanted to go to their home states and provisions have to be made in this regard.

He said that the states complained of disrupted essential services.

"Mamata Banerjee said that during this crisis, Governors and LGs are playing politics, trying to interfere in state government functioning, making it difficult for Chief Ministers in various states."

"She told the Prime Minister to control those Governor and LGs so they do not interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the states," he said.

Narayanasamy said that the chief ministers wanted additional grants from the Centre, package for industries, support for MSMEs, moratorium on bank loans of industries and MSMEs.

Narayanasamy complained that Puducherry had not received any grant from the central government in the last 27 days to fight COVID-19.

He said that the goods and services tax (GST) compensation has also not been given for the last four months and every state is in a financial stress.

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