UP CM, Sirajul Haq on same page when it comes to helping poor
Shrinking business activities and lockdowns are normal in a world trying to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which is hitting the low-income groups, especially those working in informal sectors including daily wagers.
That’s why Yogi Adityanath – the chief minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh – toed Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq’s line while deciding assistance to the daily-wage labourers.
The chief minister made the announcement as the state government extended the shutdown. He has now formed a committee comprising state ministers to decide the nature of the assistance within three days.
According to Indian media, a government spokesman said, “There is a section of poor people who go out for work daily to eke out a living, but these restrictions could affect their livelihood.”
“The poor, most of whom earn their livelihood on a daily basis, will get a certain amount in their account through RTGS," he added.
Similar views were expressed by Sirajul Haq on Wednesday when he demanded of the government announce a relief package for the labourers and other low-income class people who lost every earning facility and sitting idle at their homes. He said the government should also waive the electricity and gas bills to the people earning less than Rs25,000 per month.
Talking about waiving utility bills, French President Emmanuel Macron [like some other European leaders] has already announced the move besides also including rents other items in the long list of measures for his country.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus crisis has forced even a top conservative American politician, Senator Mitt Romney, to demand that every American should get a $1,000 cheque to cover costs and keep the economy running, in addition to a slew of other measures to mitigate the pandemic’s fiscal fallout.
This support for the universal basic income from a US Republican is certainly a huge surprise, as his party is most vocal against expanding social security schemes and government spending.
While the Senate should act swiftly on the House relief bill, we also need to work urgently on additional #COVID19 response measures to help families and small businesses. My proposals: https://t.co/62YevTMgCI— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) March 16, 2020
Meanwhile, there is complete silence in Pakistan on the issue despite the fact that the country has millions of daily wagers and others from the low-income groups.
The PTI government is either mulling some reaction or keeping mum to the growing calls for measures to cut down poor’s burden.