File image of Congress' Lok Sabha and party's Bengal unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 16, requesting him to order a monthly aide of Rs 6,000 for the economically stressed citizens based in states where the COVID-19 lockdown has been imposed.
"The central government should resort to direct cash transfer of Rs 6,000 per month in the bank accounts of all the eligible poor people of the states under lockdown, including the state of West Bengal," said Chowdhury, who is also the Congress' state unit president of Bengal.
"This will not only mitigate the sufferings of the millions of poor but it is good economics as well because it will have a multiplier effect on the economy," he added.
Also Read | We should be mentally prepared for COVID-19 pandemic to last until mid-2022: Devi Shetty
The lockdown, necessitated to curb the pace of virus transmission, has led to "hardship and suffering" for the poor, daily wagers and the marginalised sections of the society, Chowdhury stated in his letter to Modi.
"In view of the ongoing pandemic and the lockdowns, such people have been rendered unemployed, resulting in their incomes dwindling and them not being able to provide for and feed their family," he said.
Chowdhury further added that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has suggested that the Centre should "provide free food grains to the needy" along with Rs 6,000 per month to all unemployed persons.
In view of the prevailing condition, the prime minister should give a "serious thought to the suggestion" of Sonia Gandhi, he said.
Lockdown or stringent COVID-19 curbs have been imposed in most states across India since late April or earlier this month. The restrictions are aimed slowing down the test positivity rate, as the increase in infections had burdened the existing health infrastructure.
Since the imposition of restrictions, the cases have begun plateauing in India. The country has been reporting less than 4 lakh daily cases for the last seven consecutive days. As per the last update issued by the Union health ministry, 311,170 new coronavirus cases and 4,077 more deaths were reported.