West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will allow the resumption of more economic activities soon, with special focus on providing relief to small industries hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, sources aware of the development told News18 on Friday.
A likely announcement on short-term, middle-term and long-term lockdown exit plans is expected. The chief minister is also believed to have said that we need to "learn to live with coronavirus" and that states should be allowed to implement lockdown strategies and plan its exit depending on their own "ground realities."
The development comes after the state government announced the categorisation of the state’s red zones on Tuesday in a bid to revive the economy. Addressing a press conference at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’, Banerjee announced that the Covid-19 red zones across the state would be divided into three categories — A, B and C — and said measured relaxations would be introduced in non-containment areas.
She said plans are afoot to restart some establishments (between 12pm to 6pm) like mobile stores, jewellery shops, food joints (except restaurants) electrical and paint shops. The CM said only takeaways would be allowed in food shops, while all gathering would remain banned at tea stalls. State-run units of Khadi Bazar, Biswa Bangla Haat, PHE, PWD, Fisheries, Horticulture and Irrigation have also been asked to resume operations.
The CM also criticised the Centre’s decision on the extension of lockdown and said that there was a lack of planning in its implementation which adversely affected migrant workers and poor people.
Tensions have continued to simmer between West Bengal and Centre over the coronavirus crisis.
On Wednesday, CM had also slammed the Centre over the special economic package and dubbed dit a hoax, claiming that it was a big zero and of no use to the states. The TMC supremo had also said the Centre was "misleading people" during the COVID-19 crisis.