Thursday, July 9, 2020
Home Government and Policy Coronavirus lockdown: Uttar Pradesh government takes urgent steps to ensure the poor and weaker...

Coronavirus lockdown: Uttar Pradesh government takes urgent steps to ensure the poor and weaker sections do not suffer, cash and food to be provided

KV Raju, the financial advisor to CM Yogi Adityanath writes how the state government has geared up to help its people during the time of crisis.

Also Read

K.V. Raju
K. V. Raju is an expert of economic affairs and currently serving as the financial advisor to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The widescale spread of coronavirus across 187 countries has led to the lockdown of several cities, states and countries. According to worldometers.org, as on 26 March 2020, there are cases 471,742 confirmed cases, deaths 21,297 deaths and 114,696 recoveries worldwide.

It is somewhat similar to natural and human disasters affecting all living beings, especially for the weaker sections of our society. They are left to feed on their meagre stocks or go hungry, which can lead to several problems like hunger, health, nutrition and inequality. During the lockdown period, the governance systems need to uphold the Sustainable Development Goals as defined by UN, especially no. 1, 2, 3, 10 which means that the government has to focus on ensuring to end poverty owing to lack of daily wages, end hunger and ensure food security and nutrition owing to less or no access to food, ensure healthy lives of all age groups, and also ensure the reduction of inequality within the country.

Across the world, historically, several societies have successfully shown good examples of protecting weaker sections by the rulers or the governance system. Organising food camps, organising large scale kitchens by charitable organisations, providing food stamps by the government, donors and multilateral agencies. Also religion led temples, church and mosques providing free food to all needy people. Distributing food grains from government warehouses is quite common in recent decades. This practice is centuries old across the globe.

In recent months, coronavirus has led to lockdowns across the globe, but there is limited information available on how countries are ensuring that the most vulnerable are safe. During the lockdown, weaker sections of society, especially those who depend on daily wages and workers in the unorganised sector (street food vendors, hawkers in public spaces) are the worst affected. They are forced to sit in house, resulted in no job and no wages.

Back in India, the largest populated state of Uttar Pradesh has been taking on this challenge under the leadership of monk turned chief minister and five-time MP Yogi Adityanath. Being a monk (head priest of the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur of Uttar Pradesh), his sect on a regular basis provides free food to all devotees and cattle. This has been practised in his temple premises for several decades. His commitment to helping weaker sections (waiving off agricultural loans, direct benefit transfer to user accounts and other welfare schemes) has focused on ensuring easy access to food and cash during the lockdown period resulted from Coronavirus.

The inevitable impact of coronavirus on the weaker sections of the society has led the Government of Uttar Pradesh (confirmed coronavirus cases 34) to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of Suresh Khanna (Minister for Finance and Parliamentary Affairs, also eight times winner from the ruling party). The Committee submitted the report in a week to ensure food and cash transfer during Coronavirus related lockdown period in Uttar Pradesh. On March 18, 2020, the Chief Minister took the decision to implement the recommendations of this committee. The Committee explored to tap the underutilised labour cess fund in steering this process.

Key features of the committee recommendations

• All 1,65,31,000 workers (see Table 1), will get food grains (20 kg wheat and 10 kg rice per family per month) free for two months. To be distributed through public distribution system shops spread over all villages. This will be monitored on weekly basis by local nodal officers and state officers.
• Rs 1000 per month maintenance allowance to 20,37,000 labourers (see Table 1).
• The money will be directly transferred to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
• Immediate payment to 88, 40,000 workers under the Mahatma Gandhi rural employment guarantee scheme, supported by the Government of India.
• All pensioners (83,83,000 as in Table 2) will get pension amount for two months.

Table 1: Labour cess fund utilisation for paying Rs.1,000 per month and food grains (wheat, 20 kgs and rice, 10 kgs) from public distribution shops from April 2020.

Existing SchemeNumber of Beneficiaries
Antyodaya – Rural37,51,000
Antyodaya -Urban03,43,000
MNREGA – job cardholders88,40,000
Registered workers in the Labour department20,37,000
Unorganised workers (estimated)15,60,000
Total1,65,31,000

Table 2. Pensioners will get two months amount from the first week of April 2020.

Existing SchemeNo. of beneficiaries
1.Pension for old age people46,97,000
2.Pension for Physically challenged10,76,000
3.Pension for destitute/widow women26,10,000
Total83,83,000

The UP government had also announced that the government will engage vehicles to distribute food and rations to households in the state. So far, over 12,000 vehicles have been employed to make vegetables, milk, food grains, and medicines to doorsteps in rural and urban areas.

Several other states have also shown their willingness to provide similar benefits. The Kerala government had announced a 20,000 crore package. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has declared an immediate relief of Rs 3,000 to each registered construction worker in the state. Haryana CM ML Khattar has also announced that the state will provide special financial assistance to special financial assistance for people in BPL category and low-income groups like daily wagers, labourers, street vendors and construction workers. Delhi has doubled the pension amount for widows, the elderly and disabled persons. The government has also arranged for food distribution for the homeless and poor in the national capital.

On Sunday, 22 March 2020, entire India following the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had observed a complete lockdown at the national level, that too on a voluntary basis by 1.3 billion people. Now the entire nation is under complete lockdown for three weeks. In these hard times, Uttar Pradesh model would be a healthy booster to the society.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

K.V. Raju
K. V. Raju is an expert of economic affairs and currently serving as the financial advisor to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Trending now

Used cartridges from the rooftop: What was collected from the scene where Ratan Lal was murdered and what it all means

During the anti-Hindu Delhi riots, the brutal murder of Ratan Lal was one of the first acts of violence that shook the nation from the 24th of February to the 26th of February

Unconfirmed reports of Newslaundry columnist Sharjeel Usmani being ‘picked up’ by UP Police emerge on social media

Islamists and 'liberals' claimed on social media that Newslaundry columnist Sharjeel Usmani, who had hailed Delhi riots shooter Shahrukh as 'Mujahid', has been 'picked up' by UP Police.

From Vikas Dubey has reached Nepal to he may be encountered ‘because he knows dirty secrets’: Read how conspiracy theorists spun yarns

As Vikas Dubey was on the run, the journalists kept themselves busy conjuring up various conspiracy theories.

Kanpur encounter: Notorious gangster Vikas Dubey arrested at police station in Ujjain

The notorious gangster was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police after he had managed to escape after unleashing terror on the Uttar Pradesh policemen on July 2 late night killing eight policemen including a DSP.

Netizens ask Netflix to cancel comedian Kenny Sebastian’s special show after he hurls obscene abuses

Social media users are demanding that Netflix reconsiders special show of Indian comic Kenny Sebastian after he was allegedly found hurling obscene abuses to people on his Instagram page.

Uttar Pradesh: Two aides of criminal Vikas Dubey shot dead by the police, 3 killed so far

Prashant Mishra, an aide of Vikas Dubey, was shot in the leg while trying to escape during his transit to Kanpur. He was admitted in hospital in a critical condition and later succumbed to injuries.

Recently Popular

Australian surfer Carmen Greentree abducted and raped for 2 months in a houseboat in Kashmir in 2004, pressurised to convert to Islam

Carmen Greentree has penned a book titled "A Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness" narrating her abduction and rape in Kashmir.

Jyoti Basu is the mass murderer India forgot

Please don’t feel bad about speaking ill of the Late Jyoti Basu. If there is another world, be certain that there are (at least) 28,000 voices from the other side backing you up.

Only Muslims go to heaven, Ravish Kumar-like non-Muslims can only hope for a mild level of hell: Dr Zakir Naik explains

Naik said that virtues like honesty and charity cannot ensure qualifying marks for heaven or Jannah. Only Muslims can go to heaven and non-Muslims will go to hell by default, he says.

Payal Rohatgi’s Twitter account suspended, the actress says she is being targeted by ‘liberals and extremists’

Payal Rohatgi has stated that her efforts to share facts has been projected in a bad light by liberals and extremists who control Twitter.

Netizens ask Netflix to cancel comedian Kenny Sebastian’s special show after he hurls obscene abuses

Social media users are demanding that Netflix reconsiders special show of Indian comic Kenny Sebastian after he was allegedly found hurling obscene abuses to people on his Instagram page.

The dark, disturbing world of mean and hateful ‘sly’ Bollywood insider gossip featuring Rajeev Masand, PinkVilla and others

Following Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide, prominent film journalists and critics were accused of writing vile 'blinds' aka unverified, vile gossip.

Used cartridges from the rooftop: What was collected from the scene where Ratan Lal was murdered and what it all means

During the anti-Hindu Delhi riots, the brutal murder of Ratan Lal was one of the first acts of violence that shook the nation from the 24th of February to the 26th of February

Congress doubles down on its ‘Brahmin card’ with the arrest of Vikas Dubey and encounter of his aides

Congress leader Jitin Prasada has been trying to stoke casteist fires over the Vikas Dubey issue, by trying to portray UP Police's action on the gangster and his associates as 'caste-oriented atrocity' against the Brahmins.

HRD Minister clears the air about the exclusion of some chapters from CBSE syllabus for current year, calls MSM’s reporting sensationalism

HRD Minister said that news reporter are sensationalizing the removal of chapters from CBSE syllabus due to lockdoown

Unconfirmed reports of Newslaundry columnist Sharjeel Usmani being ‘picked up’ by UP Police emerge on social media

Islamists and 'liberals' claimed on social media that Newslaundry columnist Sharjeel Usmani, who had hailed Delhi riots shooter Shahrukh as 'Mujahid', has been 'picked up' by UP Police.

“Opening doors and windows help virus escape”: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee shares her wisdom on fighting Coronavirus

Responding to remands of air-conditioners from doctors, Mamata Banerjee advised them to keep doors and windows open

Bangladesh: Video of Muslims destroying fence of 200-year-old Hindu temple goes viral on social media

Hindus in Bangladesh claim that fence of 200 year old Shiva temple was destroyed by Muslims, video goes viral

From Vikas Dubey has reached Nepal to he may be encountered ‘because he knows dirty secrets’: Read how conspiracy theorists spun yarns

As Vikas Dubey was on the run, the journalists kept themselves busy conjuring up various conspiracy theories.

Kanpur encounter: Notorious gangster Vikas Dubey arrested at police station in Ujjain

The notorious gangster was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police after he had managed to escape after unleashing terror on the Uttar Pradesh policemen on July 2 late night killing eight policemen including a DSP.

Netizens ask Netflix to cancel comedian Kenny Sebastian’s special show after he hurls obscene abuses

Social media users are demanding that Netflix reconsiders special show of Indian comic Kenny Sebastian after he was allegedly found hurling obscene abuses to people on his Instagram page.

Connect with us

235,240FansLike
401,495FollowersFollow
271,000SubscribersSubscribe