Ex-CM Kamal Nath demands relief package for poor

BHOPAL: Former chief minister Kamal Nath has demanded that the state government should announce a relief package of at least Rs 7,500 per month for the next two months for the daily wagers, small traders and other low-income groups, whose income has been reduced to zero due to corona lockdown.

In a letter addressed to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Nath said that though lockdown was essential for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, it has created unprecedented problems for manual labourers working on daily wages, small shopkeepers, motor mechanics, cobblers, potters, pan shop owners and others. “They are in deep trouble as their source of income has been blocked,” Nath said.

He said it was the duty and responsibility of government to ensure that the poor and the deprived do not face starvation. “As caretaker chief minister, I had directed that three months’ quota of foodgrains under PDS should be distributed free of cost to the beneficiaries. I hope you will ensure that the directive is implemented.”

Nath said Madhya Pradesh government has yet to announce a package for the deprived sections. No separate package has been announced for the MGNREGS job card holders, whose number is more than one crore, he said.

This is Nath’s third letter in the last two days to the chief minister, drawing latter’s attention to the problems being faced by various sections of the people due to the long lockdown.