A key Congress panel headed by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday met for the first time and discussed significant issues before the country such as revival of the MSME sector, smooth crop procurement and migrant issues amid the nationwide lockdown.
The Congress will soon prepare a detailed plan for revival of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) together with steps to ensure smooth crop procurement and resolving migrants’ issues and will put it before the central government, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.
Ramesh, who is a member of the party’s consultative group on COVID-19 headed by Singh, said the Congress has urged the government to submit through direct benefit transfers Rs 7500 in all Jan Dhan accounts, all pension accounts and those under the PM-Kisan scheme.
Ramesh also said the former prime minister and Rahul Gandhi, who also participated in the meeting, stressed that priority be given to the MSME sector because of its social and economic importance as it is one of the largest job providers in the country.
“We have worked out a very concrete MSME revival package which we will submit to the central government in a day or two,” he told reporters at a press conference through video conferencing.
Ramesh said both Singh and Gandhi also stressed on the need for making positive recommendations to the government to ensure smooth crop procurement and resolution of migrants’ issues.
“I am sure a compassionate, responsible government can find funds to provide for the vulnerable,” he said when asked if the country had funds of this nature to spare.
Ramesh alleged that the Centre was busy “destabilising” the Madhya Pradesh government and was “caught napping in preparation for managing COVID-19” and the action was delayed. He said he hoped the government would “come down from its pedestal” and constructively accept the suggestions put forth by the Congress.