Lifting of lockdown: Ball in PM’s court

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 07, 2020 Published on April 07, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi   -  PTI

Decision will be taken after GoM meet by end of the week

A Group of Ministers (GoM), which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has called for close monitoring and prevention of large gathering at places including religious centres. Sources in the know said though the group did not discuss the lockdown timeline, it will meet again by the end of the week to firm up views on the subject.

With many State governments as well as experts requesting the Centre to extend the lockdown, a final decision will be taken by the Prime Minister after the GoM meet.

The GoM’s directive to closely monitor gatherings has come at a time when instances of large congregations have come to notice. The police have also made a number of arrests in this regard. With Shab-e-Barat, one of the auspicious nights in the Islamic calendar when people gather in mosques for overnight prayers, scheduled on April 8-9, there are apprehensions that stay-at-home and social distancing directives could be flouted.


Keeping this in mind, the GoM felt “places where public have a tendency to gather in large numbers such as religious centres should be closely monitored and any such gatherings be prevented.” The GoM met for the fourth time post the implementation of the lockdown. Inputs, suggestions and feedback from the discussions held at these meetings are conveyed to Prime Minister by the Defence Minister.



Availability of essentials

The GoM comprises senior Ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah; Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman; Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda; Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan; and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, besides others.


The GoM appealed to people to follow Prime Minister’s suggestion and contribute towards feeding the needy people, and making face masks at home. It noted with satisfaction that essential commodities were available in sufficient quantities and no shortages were reported from anywhere in the country. It has recommended measures to enhance testing facilities in medical laboratories.

It also appreciated the decision allowing agricultural operations during the current harvest season. It expressed satisfaction over measures put in place to provide shelter and food to migrant workers.

Published on April 07, 2020

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