Hyderabad: Chief Minister K.Chandrashekhar Rao, on April 11th, announced that the lockdown imposed in the state will be extended till April 30th in the wake of COVID-19.The Telangana cabinet took a decision following the increasing number of coronavirus cases.’To ensure farmers are not put to losses and avoid shortage of essential commodities, the food processing industry will be allowed  to function, the CM said.

Explaining the need for extending lockdown, he said,”The lockdown has helped in containing the spread of Corona to a great level. There is no other better solution than this. I request  people to cooperate and refrain from mass gatherings until April 30.

As on April 11, the total number of Coronavirus cases detected in the state are 503, of which 94 have been cured/discharged.The active cases stand at 393 and the state reported 14 deaths.’None of the patients admitted to Telangana hospitals are in a serious condition. A high number will be discharged soon following their reports. Around 1200 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat including there primary contact were quarantined, in total 1650 were placed in isolation.The government has identified 243 containment zones 123 under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and 120 under other jurisdictions ‘ the CM said.

The Chief Minister also announced that students in class one to ninth would be promoted.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video-conference with all the Chief Ministers on Saturday. During the four hour-long video conference, CM KCR made several suggestions to the PM. The CM  expressed his opinion on various issues relating to agriculture, finance etc.

Stressing the need to protect farmers, he said, Agriculture is our country’s lifeline. Apart from providing food, the sector provides livelihood to many. To feed its 135 crore population our self-sufficiency in food grains should be preserved. We have to stand with the farmers who feed us.

To protect the agriculture sector and ensure there is no shortage of essential commodities, the food processing units should function. Measures should be taken to run rice mills, oil mills, and other agriculture based industries.

MNREGA should be linked with agriculture. The scheme should continue for at least two months. A policy to enable sharing of the farm wages between farmers and MNREGA funds should be chalked out. This will help the farmers in difficult times.

The primary responsibility now is to procure the crores of tonnes of grains across the country. We are short of space to store the grain. Distribution of grains over the next three months will ease the space across the FCI go downs in the country.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao bats for Helicopter money

Explaining the measures taken by Telangana to mitigate farmers woes, he said, “To prevent crowding of farmers and help in maintaining social distancing, the State has started 6,849 procurement centres to procure food grains at the village level. The government has given Rs 25,000 crore bank guarantee to procure paddy alone. We are procuring paddy in the villages and depositing money in to the accounts of farmers directly. As payment from FCI which procures these grain takes another four to five months, the Centre should ensure that the banks don’t pressurize the farmers for dues.”

The Spanish Flu, had created an economic crisis across the world in 1918. The economic recession hit the world in 2008. We are facing economic problems even now. RBI should implement quantitative easing. This is called helicopter money. This will help the States and financial institutions avail funds. Release five percent of funds of GDP through quantitative easing.

Increase FRBM from 3 percent to 5 percent. The Centre should defer payment of interest due from the states to Centre by six months. A task force should be created under the chairmanship of the PM. In the backdrop of lockdown, an action plan has to be prepared to help farmers and also to improve the economy.

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