NEW DELHI: With the focus on boosting economic activities amid a graded exit from the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of various states via video conference on Monday afternoon.
This will be his fifth interaction with the chief ministers after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The Prime Minister’s Office said the video conference will begin at 3 PM on Monday.
PM @narendramodi to hold the 5th meeting via video-conference with state Chief Ministers tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 1589102841000
Sources in the government said the focus of the meeting would be on boosting economic activities and pushing efforts to convert ‘red’ zones with high COVID-19 case load into ‘orange’ or ‘green’ zones.
The number of COVID-19 infections has more than doubled since the prime minister interacted with the chief ministers last on April 27 — from just over 28,000 cases to nearly 63,000 cases.
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Days after the meeting, the central government had extended the lockdown by two more weeks till May 17 to arrest the spread of the virus, but gave several relaxations in economic activities and movement of people.
The nationwide lockdown has been in force since March 25.
Several states have recently relaxed labour laws to pump up industrial activities with staggered shifts or limited staff as a fresh spike in coronavirus cases could undo the gains so far.
Monday’s meeting could also discuss further relaxations as part of a graded exit from the lockdown but all restrictions are unlikely to be withdrawn in one go, the sources suggested.
The meeting comes days before the third phase of the lockdown ends on May 17.
At a meeting on Sunday, state chief secretaries told Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba that while protection is required from COVID-19, economic activities also need to be stepped up in a calibrated manner.
With thousands of migrant workers taking special trains to go back to their home states due to lockdown, the restarting of industrial activities will prove to be a challenge for states.