PM Modi holds important meet with CMs: Lockdown to be extended?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today interacted with chief ministers via video conference morning on the way ahead in the fight against the novel coronavirus, amid indications that the discussions also focussed on a graded exit from the ongoing lockdown.

This is the third video conference of the prime minister with the chief ministers after the spread of the COVID-19 in the country. Apart from the exit plan, the Chief Ministers were also likely to discuss the responses to the partial relaxations granted on April 20. The situation regarding test kits and the protection of doctors was also on the agenda of discussion.

The states were also expected to seek a financial package from the Centre and amendment to the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act to tackle the menace.

The Prime Minister has held two such interactions earlier with the Chief Ministers over the COVID-19 situation and lockdown imposed to prevent its spread. Modi had on March 24 announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was later extended till May 3.

Before the lockdown was announced, the Prime Minister had interacted with the Chief Ministers on March 20 to discuss the means to check the spread of the virus.

The Centre and the state governments have been giving gradual relaxation in various fields and sectors to boost economic activities as also to provide relief to people. But some states are willing to extend the lockdown beyond May 3 to ensure that coronavirus cases remain under control.

The Centre has now allowed neighborhood and standalone shops, including those located in residential complexes, in urban areas to open during the lockdown. But those in the markets continue to remain shut till May 3.