Narendra Modi: Prepare for the “new normal”, draft business continuity plans, Prime Minister tells ministers | India News
Stressing the need to keep a close watch on the coronavirus situation and ensure the implementation of relief measures, Modi said at a video-linked cabinet meeting that it was also essential to develop a strategy for emerging conditions, including a phased plan to slowly reopen the activity outside the access point. zones
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He said ministries should prepare a business continuity plan that could include elements such as guidelines for companies to incorporate social distancing and health safeguards. Travel may still be limited and work floor rules may have to be devised.
The 21-day blockade will end next week and government movements are being watched closely amid continuing Covid-19 cases and indications that some levels of restrictions may remain.
Sources said the phased exit plan Modi has previously referred to will include continued restrictions at Covid-19 hot spots, while mass transit such as trains, subways and buses may remain limited or suspended. Other displacements may be allowed, but will depend on the situation. Restaurants may resume, but initially only offer take-out services.
Modi asked his ministers to prepare a list of 10 major decisions and 10 priority areas of focus to publish the closure, and called on them to identify and implement pending reforms.
A key issue appeared to be reducing dependency on other nations, an indication of a policy to promote Make-in-India and boost local manufacturing. The disruption in the global supply chain has already led many experts and economists to underline the need for a strong local economic structure, especially to manufacture key products such as pharmaceuticals.
Ahead of the cabinet meeting, via the video link, the prime minister in a recorded message to BJP workers on the 40th day of the party’s founding said the country should prepare for a “long battle.”
Although Modi repeatedly insisted that the battle would be a long one, he said that no one should surrender (“na thakna hai, na harna hai”) and that the country had demonstrated its resolve by adhering to the blockade and citizens had shown solidarity with the workers of first line.
At the cabinet meeting, the prime minister said the current crisis offered “an opportunity to become independent in the medical sector.” India relies heavily on China for basic drugs and other key equipment and supplies to combat the deadly virus. Furthermore, the manufacture of ventilators is limited with the respiratory support apparatus and its key components imported into the country.
In addition to the local manufacturing tone, there seemed to be an aggressive tone to economic strategy, with the prime minister calling for an export plan focused on new markets and sectors, even when he acknowledged that shipments outside the country had been affected.
In his speech to party cadres, Modi asked them to take on five tasks, including helping the poor with food; honoring those on the front line; mobilizing society; campaigning thanksgiving for nurses, doctors, healthcare staff, police, banks, and postal officials; raising awareness of Arogya Setu; and contribute to the PM-CARES Fund and motivate at least 40 people to make contributions.
Modi also responded to opposition criticism of his government’s actions against Covid-19, claiming that India’s efforts had set an example for the world and praised by the World Health Organization and leaders abroad.