UCM for sectorwise rehab policies

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 21: Taking serious note of the apprehension among the people due to the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last 2/3 days, United Committee Manipur (UCM) has opined that the disease and the lockdown may stay for longer period and people should learn to adapt to a new lifestyle as the virus has changed the world.
It may be noted that the number of active COVID-19 cases has risen to 23 in Manipur.
As the novel coronavirus pandemic fallouts have disturbed all spheres of life and economy worldwide, there is a need for planned sector-wise rehabilitation policies for people to survive. With the pandemic forcing States to lock down affecting all workers including those engaged in private firms, schools, companies and daily wage earners, UCM is of the opinion that the Government should consider formulating sector-wise revival policies, it said adding the committee would extend all assistance and closely work together with the Government on this front.
Welcoming the COVID-19 relief packages Government of India announced recently, UCM said that the packages will be able to mitigate suffering of the people to a great extent. Mentioning some packages including the benefits for EPF (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation) employees, packages for MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) etc, UCM appealed that the packages be delivered in a transparent manner so as to reach maximum beneficiaries.
The targeted beneficiaries should also have proper knowledge and understanding of the packages concerned to reap full benefits, added UCM.
Stating that there are about 403 established EPF registered companies in Manipur which can benefit from the Government scheme wherein "Centre would instead provide the employee's and employer's  contribution of 12% to the provident fund for March, April and May," UCM claimed that only 182 establishments/firms had sought and received benefits of the scheme for March while only 213 establishments received the relief for April. Questioning the reason why many eligible establishments/firms failed to seek and get the relief, UCM said it would provide assistance to the left out firms concerned in seeking the relief if their grievances are genuine.
Besides the Government relief packages, all should learn to help each other at this crucial juncture. Rich should extend their helping hands to the poor and neighbours. All should encourage employees and employers/service providers to survive and emerge victorious, said UCM reiterating their appeals to the people and Government to unitedly face the pandemic.
UCM reiterated that people must obey and follow the Government advisories on COVID-19 to stay safe and avoid virus spread.
The State Government and the people should acknowledge the dedication and hardwork of the frontline COVID-19 warriors including healthcare workers, police, media, volunteers engaged in quarantine centres, said UCM.
To help the State better face the virus, private hospitals should also establish dedicated isolation ward, quarantine centre and treatment facilities for COVID-19, it said.
To provide relief to tenants, UCM reiterated that landlords should exempt 50 percent of the rent for three months and appealed private firms/companies to pay monthly salary to their employees and provide maximum support during the lockdown.
In line with the RBI advice to grant three months (March 1 to May 31) moratorium on loan and card repayments, UCM also appealed private banks and micro finance firms/companies engaged in Tender/Marup schemes in the State to provide moratorium for at least two months.
With many more returning to the State in the coming days, the Government should strictly enforce all precautionary and preventive measures and people should remain alert and maintain social/physical distancing at all times to avoid the virus, advised UCM.