Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (Photo Credit: PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has termed the coronavirus pandemic a ‘tough attack’ on India’s economy and called for immediate steps to revive it. Gandhi also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for asking people to ‘clap’ and beat ‘thalis’ during 'Janata Curfew' saying it would not help the daily wage workers and small and medium entrepreneurs. "Clapping will not help them. Today there is a need for cash relief and tax sops, besides relief in repayment of loans as part of a big economic package. Take immediate steps," the former Congress chief said in a tweet in Hindi.
Earlier, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi urged people not to panic in view of the coronavirus outbreak and called upon the government to take steps including stepping up testing facilities and a comprehensive relief package for the affected due to the economic fallout of the virus.
She said the country will not bow down to this painful crisis and suggested a comprehensive, sector-wise relief package was required to be announced by the government to support those hit by its economic fallout.
In a statement, the Congress chief urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government to increase the number of testing facilities across the country and make public the details of hospitals and medical facilities through a dedicated portal.
"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. A comprehensive, sector-wise relief package needs to be announced forthwith by the government, including necessary tax breaks, interest subvention and deferment of liabilities. For the salaried class, the government and the RBI must consider a deferment of EMIs," the Congress chief said.
She called for special financial incentives for those manufacturing protective gear to combat the virus.
Gandhi said COVID-19 was a huge setback for millions of daily wage earners, MGNREGA workers, ad-hoc and temporary employees, labourers, farmers and those in the unorganised sector.
With PTI Inputs