NEW DELHI: Twenty-two opposition parties on Friday put forth an 11-point demand charter before the Centre to be
considered in wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The opposition meet was convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi through video-conferencing which was attended by leaders of 22 parties.
Saying that the economy has collapsed and all sections of society are facing acute distress due to the virus, the opposition put forward 11 demands to be considered by the Centre to revive the economy and help the distressed sections of society:
* Direct cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month to all families, outside the Income Tax bracket, for six months. Rs 10,000 to be paid immediately, with the balance being paid equally across the remaining five months.
* Free distribution of 10kg food grains to all needy individuals, each month for the next six months. Increase the number of MGNREGA days to 200 and provide the necessary budgetary support.
* Free transportation for all migrant workers to their native places. Also make immediate and reliable arrangements to rescue all Indian students and other citizens stranded overseas.
* Provide accurate and relevant information on Covid-19 infections and goalposts vis-à-vis testing, infrastructure and containing spread.
* Reverse all unilateral policy decisions particularly the annulment of labour laws.
* Procure immediately the rabi harvest at the MSP and provide assistance for the produce to reach the market. The government must also provide seeds, fertilisers and other inputs to the farmers to help prepare for the kharif crop.
* Release substantial funds to the state governments who are on the frontline of combating the pandemic.
* Communicate in clear terms the Central government’s exit strategy from the lockdown, if any.
* Restore Parliamentary functioning and oversight with immediate effect.
* Present a clear and meaningful economic strategy focused on revival and poverty alleviation instead of propaganda. The Rs 20 lakh crore package and its contents mislead the people of India. We demand that the government present a revised and comprehensive package that will be a true fiscal stimulus in order to stimulate demand in the economy.
* Consult state governments while allowing international/domestic flights.