As India enters the last week of the 54-day lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to interact with chief ministers via video conference today at 3 pm. This will be Modi's fifth virtual meeting with state CMs. They are likely to discuss the lockdown exit plan ending on May 17.
The PM has held four such conferences with CMs over the coronavirus situation in the country.
"PM Narendra Modi to hold the 5th meeting via video-conference with state Chief Ministers tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a tweet.
Today's discussion is expected to revolve on steps for reviving the battered economy and scaling up efforts to bring more 'red' zones- areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases- into 'orange' or 'green' zones'. Yesterday, the Indian Railways announced that it will gradually resume passenger train services from May 12. In the second phase of the lockdown, the Centre had allowed manufacturing and industrial activities across all the zones.
PM Modi might also talk about how to curb the spread in Maharashtra and Gujarat, the worst-hit states. Return of migrant workers to their home states and what impact it could have on the economic activities is also likely to be discussed.
On Sunday, Union cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, held a video conference with various states' chief secretaries. In the meeting, states told Gauba that although protection against COVID-19 was necessary, attention to the revival of economic activities was also needed in a calibrated manner. The chief secretary sought the cooperation of state governments in running special trains for transportation of stranded migrant workers across different parts of the country. Three-hundred and fifty such trains carrying 3.5 lakh labourers have been operated so far, the cabinet secretary said.