Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Thursday announced immediate distribution of 10 lakh packets of dry ration to daily wagers and unorganised labourers to help them during the curfew because of the COVID-19 crisis.
The packets, containing 10 kg flour, 2 kg pulses and 2 kg of sugar, would be provided in slums and other areas where daily wagers and labourers lived in large numbers, an official spokesperson told IANS.
The Chief Minister said the packets be made available at the Deputy Commissioners’ offices to be provided to persons, missed during the door-to-door distribution. They might also call the helpline numbers for food, he added.
Singh said while the economic package announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was welcome and would provide support to many sections of society, no immediate relief had been provided by the Centre to the daily wagers and the unorganised sector workers.
Earlier, during a video conference conducted by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with the Chief Ministers of the party-ruled states, Singh said all efforts were being made by his government to reach out to the poor.
He informed the Congress chief about measures being taken in the state to help people. He said arrangements were being made to ensure home delivery of essential items and services, and to reach out to those in need at their doorsteps.
He has asked the police and the civil administration to streamline the support process and delivery systems in every district.
Remarking that there has been marked improvement in the situation, he said it would stabilise in the next couple of days. The introduction of the e-pass facility by the Punjab Police was a step in that direction, he added.
On crowding at medicine stores in some areas, the Chief Minister said there was no shortage of medical supplies. He also assured doctors and healthcare staff that all necessary equipment to deal with the situation, from Covid-19 testing kits to protective materials, was available in the state.
The safety of doctors and healthcare workers was of paramount, he added.
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