New Delhi: India will further open up its economy with riders when it enters the fourth phase of national lockdown starting 18 May for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked state chief ministers to give a strategy by Friday.
At a video-conference to decide on the lockdown exit strategy, Modi told chief ministers that the restrictions that are currently in place during the third phase of the lockdown ending 17 May will not be required in the next phase.
“I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the second phase and similarly the measures needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth," an official statement said quoting Modi. The Prime minister said resumption of train services was needed to rev up economic activity, but all the routes will not be resumed. The Prime Minister said only a limited number of trains would ply, the statement said.
Modi assured states that their suggestions for a roadmap on economy have been given due consideration but cautioned that the spread of Coronavirus to rural areas should be checked.
“I request you all to share with me by 15 May, a broad strategy on how you each one of you would want to deal with the lockdown regime in your particular states. I want states to make a blue print on how to deal with various nuances during and after the gradual easing of the lockdown", he said. The minister said social distancing will remain the biggest weapon in the fight against the pandemic before a vaccine is available.
Modi informed states during his videoconference with chief ministers that the geographical spread of the pandemic in the country has become clear and that the containment efforts will stay the course while economic activities will further pick up in the coming days, a senior home ministry official said on condition of anonymity.