This Article is From May 16, 2020

Assam Wants Lockdown Extended By 2 More Weeks, Writes To Centre

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the state has written to the Centre about easing of restrictions in the fourth phase of the lockdown.

Assam Wants Lockdown Extended By 2 More Weeks, Writes To Centre

India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus

Guwahati:

The Assam government has recommended an extension of the lockdown by at least two weeks and a host of other measures just days before Lockdown 3.0 ends.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the state has written to the Centre about easing of restrictions in the fourth phase of the lockdown. Lockdown 4.0 will begin from May 18; Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the fourth phase will have "new rules" formulated with suggestions from states.

"We have already sent our detailed views on this. We have given suggestions about the relaxations desired in the fourth phase. Now let the Government of India take a view on that. All the states have written to the Centre, which will make a decision on the extension and we will follow what Centre decides," Mr Sonowal said in a press conference on Friday.

He also added that the new package for MSMEs, announced the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will help the sector in Assam and the northeast.

"Assam has around 1 lakh units registered under MSME and over 40 lakh people are employed. The Rs 3 lakh crore package for the sector will revitalise the sector. It will have a positive impact in the region as a whole," Mr Sonowal added.

Mr Sonowal also quoted a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) survey that found out Assam has suffered loses of a thousand crores daily during the lockdown.

On migrant labourers returning, the chief minister said that it should be seen as an "asset".

"The skill development department would help them hone their skill so that they have some employment avenues," he added.

India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that has affected over 85,000 people across the country.