Chandigarh, May 16, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to recognize the humanitarian crisis which was unfolding in Punjab due to the Covid -19 pandemic and take immediate relief measures including providing Rs two lakh compensation to Covid victim families, monthly pension of Rs 6,000 for Covid orphans and monthly cash assistance of Rs 6,000 per month to all BPL families for a six month period.
Asking the chief minister to spare a thought for those who had been hit by Covid as well as the after effects of the lockdown on the poor, skilled workers and traders, the SAD President said “it is heart wrenching that the government has done nothing by way of giving relief to any section of society since the last more than one year despite claiming to have spent Rs 1100 crore on Covid care. I appeal to the chief minister to mitigate the sufferings of various sections of society which have been worst hit by the pandemic on an urgent basis or else we will witness another tragedy unfolding before our eyes”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said the Congress government should immediately announce a financial assistance of Rs two lakh to all families who had lost their bread winner to the pandemic. He said simultaneously a monthly pension of Rs 6,000 per month should be provided to Covid orphans till they attained the age of maturity. “Such children should also be offered free education up to post graduation level”.
Asserting that it was unfortunate that the chief minister had failed to give any relief to people who were being fleeced at the hands of private hospitals, Mr Badal said “it has already been pointed out how private hospitals are charging Rs 2.50 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for Covid treatment.
Similarly there is a free for all as far as life saving drugs and injections are concerned”. He said it was high time that the government moved in and provided relief to the common man. “The government should bear the entire cost of income for patients with an annual income of less than Rs 10 lakh in private hospitals”.
Mr Badal said poor families were the hardest hit due to the continued lockdown in the State. He said the government should provide monthly cash assistance of Rs 6,000 per month to all BPL families for a period of six months to help them tide through the crisis. He said taxi and auto owners should also be given an allowance of Rs 6,000 per month for the next six months.
He said similarly the compensation for Covid infected registered labourers should be increased to Rs 3,000 from the present Rs1, 500 and in case any member of their family was infected the compensation should be increased to Rs 5,000 instead of the present Rs 3,000. He said it was unfortunate that even the meager compensations announced for registered labourers by the government had not been processed till now.
The SAD President also stressed the need to provide debt and other interim relief to traders and industrialists. He said the periodical lockdowns imposed by the State had dealt a crushing blow to trade and industry.
“The government should provide a short term interest subsidy to this sector to allow traders and industrialists to meet their operational expenses. This sector should also be provided free power for a period of four months to compensate for the losses suffered by them during this difficult phase”.
Mr Badal also requested the chief minister to give relief to the common man by waiving off power and water bill collection for a period of six months.