We need basic income to get through coronavirus lockdown: SRS

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JAMMU, Apr 9: As the coronavirus pandemic escalates, governments across the world are putting their people in lockdown or preparing to do so. Most of the local governments have declared an emergency and shut down schools, shops, and all public gatherings, as well as imposed severe international and domestic travel restrictions.
The logic of these measures is simple – if we limit social interaction, we reduce the rate at which the virus is transmitted. This prevents many who would have contracted it from passing it on to others and lowers the pressure on public health systems that have to respond. That is why “social distancing” measures are widely accepted as good policy.
This was observed by Shri Ram Sena J&K President Rajiv Mahajan while addressing media persons in Jammu on Thursday.
But unless implemented alongside complementary welfare policies that protect the socioeconomically vulnerable, there will be serious negative unintended consequences. Think of people like drivers and conductors who have no income security, no sick pay, and often very limited savings. What happens to them if a lockdown prevents them from working for a month or longer? said Mahajan.
Likewise, many who live in in-work poverty face the horrible prospect of not being able to pull through the epidemic. Mahajan demanded immediate implementation of NYAY, the minimum income guarantee scheme promised by the party in its 2019 election manifesto, to help the poor overcome the financial hardships caused by the lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Mahajan on the other hand demanded insurance cover of minimum Rs 50 lakh for all those who are paying GST and income tax.
He also demanded monthly Rs 15,000 for all the working journalists being part of fourth pillar of Indian democracy and infect doing yeoman’s service during lockdown period staking their lives to present actual picture from ground zero amidst corona scare worldwhile.
He also demanded Rs 5000 in accounts of registered drivers and conductors whose livelihood is in serious danger amid lockdown.
Mahajan demanded regular meals for the homeless as well as enhanced ration and pension for socio-economically vulnerable groups to help them cushion the effects of widespread restrictions in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
He said the restrictions, including shutting down of malls, restaurants and various other public spaces are causing severe financial stress to the poorer sections of the society and the government cannot afford to let people go hungry. Salute to all those who are working tirelessly, what a feeling to see India on a united front against this battle, may God save all of us from corona virus. Thank you everyone for fighting back and our heartfelt appreciation to all those who are fighting this disease by putting their lives on the line, Mahajan added.

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