Before Call On Lockdown, Central Teams Check Ground Situation In 9 States

A decision from the Centre on the lockdown is expected after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with state Chief Ministers on April 11.

Before Call On Lockdown, Central Teams Check Ground Situation In 9 States

Coronavirus: The lockdown is also worrying farmers, who have to harvest the standing winter crops (File)

New Delhi:

Ten Central teams have been sent to nine coronavirus-hit states and their inputs are expected to be factored into the government's final decision on whether the countrywide lockdown will stay or go after April 15, sources told NDTV.

A decision from the Centre is expected after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with state Chief Ministers on April 11.

The teams, which comprise personnel from multiple fields, will report back to the government soon regarding the ground situation in states like Bihar, which has not witnessed too many cases of coronavirus, as well as Tamil Nadu, which has seen a moderate number of cases.

Amid demands from several states that the lockdown be extended, PM Modi said earlier this week that "from all accounts the lifting of the lockdown is not possible", sources told NDTV.

But there is also pressure on the government - not just on the economic front but also in view of the harvest season.

Today, the Reserve Bank of India said the lockdown will directly impact the country's economic activity.  As revenue dried up due to the lockdown, many states have asked the Centre for financial packages. Yesterday, Delhi stopped all expenses except payment of salaries.

The lockdown is also worrying farmers, who have to harvest the standing winter crops, which then have to reach storehouses and markets. It would also affect the harvesting of seasonal vegetables - most of the hired hands have gone back to their villages.  

Any disruption in the harvest will result in inflation in food prices - which would pose a huge challenge amid the coming recession.