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Cong seeks special economic package for weaker sections

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 24 - Principal Opposition Congress party today called upon the State government to announce a special economic package for the benefit of daily wage earners, owners of small businesses, self-employed persons and private sector employees so that people belonging to such segments do not face any hardships on account of the lockdown that has been enforced to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

�A lockdown has been announced in the State and we support the step. However, some segments like daily wage earners, private sector employees and small traders are likely to face financial problems in the coming days. Some owners may resort to the policy of �No Work No Pay�. So the government should announce a special economic package for such vulnerable segments. Besides, the government should also provide foodstuff to the daily wage earners free of cost,� Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora told the media today.

Bora said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation last week, had urged the owners of companies, factories and private sector firms not to cut wages of employees and workers under any circumstance.

�We welcome it. But many owners may not heed the Prime Minister�s request. So both the Central and the State governments should formulate a law so that owners are not able to act in an unscrupulous manner,� said the State Congress president.

The party also asked the government to prevail upon the banks to relax repayment norms as well as for similar relaxations to be considered for the microfinance sector.

�The government must also ensure that workers of the tea gardens continue to receive their wages and rations during the period of the lockdown.

They should also be provided masks, sanitisers and soaps free of cost,� said Bora.

The Congress leader said that Covid-19 has brought about a global economic crisis which will only worsen in the coming days and months.

�The income and purchasing power of the masses will fall further. As such, the governments at the Centre and in the State need to formulate a proper plan to tide over the economic crisis,� Bora said.

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