Working class struggling for survival in lockdown: Bhalla

PCC leader Raman Bhalla distributing ration among needy in Gadigarh.
PCC leader Raman Bhalla distributing ration among needy in Gadigarh.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 13: Former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today said that the ongoing lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has badly hit the working class.
In a press statement here, Bhalla said we all need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters during these tough times. He demanded Govt to expedite efforts on ground to tackle COVID-19 in J&K and urged party workers to provide all assistance to the needy as the lockdown is eased.
Former minister also noted that his party will closely monitor which sector is getting what from the economic package. He suggested the Government to first focus on the poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers and the first thing we will look for is what the poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers can expect after they have walked hundreds of kilometres to their home states,” he said.
Congress leader said AICC president Sonia Gandhi has taken a historic decision to pay for the rail ticket of migrant labourers and now it is the responsibility of all Congress workers to ensure that no one in need is left out. He said the economy has been hit and production at factories, occupancy at hotels, sales in bazaars are pretty much down. He said the profits will get squeezed, losses will mount. Because the economy has been in a slowdown since 2018, the national lockdown has  added to the stress in banks and financial players, private companies, transport operators and other segments, Bhalla added.
Former minister maintained that  vast majority of informal workers are unlikely to have such accounts. The big challenge for India is that few of the existing policy levers can mitigate the stress in the informal sector. In any case, beyond a point, simply transferring cash may prove inadequate unless essential supplies, especially healthcare, can be made available in villages. Therefore, the relief must be well-targeted, and not squandered on unconditional giveaways to big businesses and well-off consumers.
Meanwhile, continuing to extend his helping hand by distributing ration and other essential supplies among needy persons amid lockdown due COVID-19 pandemic, Bhalla today distributed ration items at  Rani Bagh, Colonel Colony and Upaar Gadi Garh.

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