Hyderabad, April 11 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the nationwide lockdown by another two weeks to check the spread of coronavirus.
He also suggested that the food processing industry be allowed to continue its operations so that farmers don't suffer and at the same time supply of essential commodities is maintained.
During the Prime Minister's video conference with all state chief ministers, Chandrashekhar Rao made various suggestions.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, gave his suggestions with regard to saving people's lives, agriculture and economy, said a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.
Stating that India is unitedly combating COVID-19, the chief minister called for moving ahead with the same spirit. He noted that international journals are lauding India for its efforts in tackling the situation.
KCR said the Prime Minister standing by the states was boosting their morale. He exuded confidence that India will win this battle against coronavirus.
Claiming that lockdown proved helpful in controlling the virus, he felt that it should be continued for another two weeks.
KCR laid special emphasis on the need to help the farmers saying they are key to the country's food security.
He called for steps to ensure that food processing units operate smoothly. He said efforts should be made to operate rice mills, oil mills and various agro based industries.
He demanded linking agriculture to MNREGA to help the farmers in the distress. He said if farmers pay half of the wages from the labour from their pockets other half should come from MNREGA.
Stating that crores of tonnes of agricultural produce is ready to be harvested in the country, he said warehouses were not available to store the produce. He suggested that people be supplied ration for three months so that some space can be created for storage.
KCR suggested that the Prime Minister set up a task force to recommend a strategy to help farmers during lockdown and to run the economy.
He also wanted the Centre to take initiative to defer the loan installments to be paid by the states by six months.
He also called for extending FRBM limit from 3 to 5 per cent.