India’s fight against coronavirus will serve as an example of “cooperative federalism”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored in a meeting with chief ministers to discuss how best to tackle the health crisis due to this pandemic. The PM also stressed that the economy has started to look up. The meeting comes in the backdrop of a “violent face off” with China’s People’s Liberation Army on Monday night in eastern Ladakh.
“We are coming back to normalcy through unlock 1. If we follow, all the precautions and the SOPs, we will be able to battle it out with minimal damage. When India’s fight against Covid-19 will be analysed in future, this time will be remembered for how we worked together and served as an example of cooperative federalism,” said the PM at the start of the two-day meeting.
With an “economic focus”, the Centre, what it dubbed Unlock 1, went about gradually opening the economy in a three-phased plan. The domestic flights have started resumption of services; the shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship have been opened. Metro services, however, remain shut. Public transport – buses, private cabs – too is available under the new guidelines. A Lockdown is still in place in containment zones till June 30.
“Despite our large population, we minimised the deaths and our recovery rate is 50%. That has become a point of discussion across the world,’’ he said.
The more precautions the states took, Modi underlined, the better abled they would be to fight Covid-19, which would lead to greater opportunities for the economy to bounce back.
“In the next few days, we should be able to take examples of the positive stories of economic activities from the states and replicate. We are seeing green shoots in the economy, power consumption, for instance has increased, the sale of two wheelers was now at 70% of pre-lockdown numbers,’’ said PM Modi. He also highlighted how agriculture sector, on the back of recent reforms, was playing its role in reviving the Economy.
Spotlighting that many people have returned to the country in the recent past, the PM said yet the impact of the Coronavirus here is not “that huge” as compared to the world situation.
“In the last few weeks, thousands of Indians returned to India from abroad and hundreds of Migrant Workers reached their hometowns. Almost all modes of transport have resumed operations, still Covid-19 impact has not been that huge in India as in other parts of the world,” said the PM.
Speaking about the ‘unlocking’ process that began on June 1, the PM Modi said that the call for “do gaj ki doori” (Social Distancing) was crucial at this point along with wearing a face cover while stepping out. Individual experiences of states could be shared with each other so that there was collective learning, he added.