Coronavirus COVID-19: Group of Ministers reviews lockdown extension, resumption of economic activities

New Delhi: The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Saturday (April 18, 2020) chaired a meeting headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to assess the impact of lockdown extension and allowing partial economic activity in non-hotspot zones amid COVID-19 outbreak.

The government in its statement said that the GoM obtained feedback from various Ministers on the COVID19 situation and it appreciated the decision of gradual opening up of economic activity in areas that have not reported any corona cases in line with the MHA guidelines issued on April 15. The statement further said that these measures will allow for the resumption of graded economic activity keeping in view local conditions within the ambit of measures to prevent spread of the virus.

The meet held at Singh`s residence had in attendance Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Environment and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

The others minister present in the meeting involved Minister for Animal Husbandry Giriraj Singh, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State of Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge), Hardeep Puri, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhariyal, MoS for Home Affairs G Kishen Reddy and Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar.

The GoM appreciated disbursement of Rs 31,000 Crore to more than 33.25 crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to mitigate the problems of economically weaker sections of population and also examined suggestions received to enlist services of retired doctors, health professionals and medical students in the final year of their graduation.

In the meeting, the GoM reiterated its appeal to people to observe social distance norms and refrain from participating in mass prayers or religious congregations and appealed people to
to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion by making contribution in feeding the needy people, making face masks at home and maintaining social distance.

This was the fifth meeting of the GoM on COVID-19 since March 25. Inputs, suggestions and feedback from the discussions held at these meetings are conveyed to Prime Minister by the Defence Minister.