Economy

PM asks Council of Ministers to take stock of Covid situation

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 30, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting in New Delhi   -  PTI

The council also reviews efforts made in the last two weeks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the Council of Ministers to ensure issues at the local level are promptly identified and addressed. This was communicated in the Council of Ministers meeting held on Friday to take stock of the situation arising out of the second wave of the pandemic in the country.

“PM Narendra Modi said that all arms of the Government are working unitedly & rapidly to deal with the situation. He also urged the Ministers to stay in touch with people of their respective regions, help them and keep getting their feedback. He stressed upon the need to ensure that issues are at the local level promptly identified and addressed,” according to an official statement.

The meeting, held through video conferencing, was chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by Ministers as well Principal Secretary to PM and Cabinet Secretary. Member (Health) NITI Aayog VK Paul made a presentation on the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Relief measures

The Council also reviewed the efforts made in the last 14 months by the Central and State Governments. Efforts being made by the Central government in coordination with the States towards building up infrastructure in the form of ramping up hospital beds, PSA oxygen facilities etc, resolving issues in production, storage & transport of oxygen, tackling matters relating to the availability of essential medicines were discussed.

“The support measures to the vulnerable population in the form of provision of foodgrains and financial support to Jan Dhan account holders were also pointed out,” the statement added.

“The Council reiterated that the participation of society is a key aspect to accomplish the gigantic task ahead and expressed confidence that the country will rise to the occasion and defeat the virus,” the official statement added.

Empowered groups

The PM also chaired a virtual meeting to review the functioning of different empowered groups which have been set up for the management of various issues during the pandemic.

Also read: Upgrade health infra quickly: PM Modi

The Empowered Group on Economic and Welfare measures made a presentation to PM on steps taken such as extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. The PM directed Central Government should work in close co-ordination with the states to ensure that the poor get the benefits of free food-grain without any issues. He also said steps should be taken to expedite the settlement of pending Insurance claims so that the dependants of the deceased are able to avail of benefits in time, the official statement added.

Modi also instructed the Empowered Group, which looks into issues relating to facilitating supply chain & logistics management, to ensure seamless movement of goods so that supply chain disruptions are avoided.

He also asked the Empowered Group set up for coordinating with private sector, NGOs & International Organizations, to explore how volunteers from civil society can be asked to pitch in to lessen the pressure on the healthcare sector by involving them in non-specialised tasks. "It was discussed that NGOs could help to establish and maintain lines of communication between the patients, their dependents & health care personnel. Ex-Servicemen could be encouraged to handle call centres for communicating with people under home quarantine," the official statement added.

Published on April 30, 2021

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