Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said there would be an "economic devastation" if the poor were not helped urgently with cash and free rations and if MSMEs were not supported by the government.
Addressing a meeting of opposition parties, he also asked why the lockdown was being eased when the coronavirus cases were still rising.
"Lockdown had two objectives: halting the disease and preparing for future management of the disease. But today transmission is rising. We are still opening the lockdown. Does this mean an ill thought out lockdown imposed earlier hasn't yielded results?
"Lockdown has destroyed crores. If urgently they (the poor) are not given Rs 7,500 a month, not provided free ration, not helped and if MSMEs are not supported now, there will be economic devastation," Gandhi said.
He said the government's economic package does not acknowledge that people need cash, not credit.
"It's our duty to raise this issue. It's not about parties. It's about the country. If we don't raise it now lakhs will seep into poverty," he added.
The opposition meet was attended by 22 parties and they discussed the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have put forth 11 demands before the central government, including direct cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month to families outside the Income Tax bracket for six months.