AGARTALA: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has proposed to make Income Tax (IT) the cutoff mark for granting relief to the people who are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic. The party also submitted a long list of other facilities and subsidies for the suffering masses.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar charted out the party's proposals in a long interview with the social media. While appreciating the State government for its appropriate handling of the fight against coronavirus, Sarkar however criticized the administration for its "failure to solve many problems of the people".
The most significant proposal he put forward is to make Income Tax payment the cutoff mark for granting relief. He proposed that Rs 7,500 should be paid to each person who is not paying Income Tax for three months and then to review its further continuation considering the situation. He also stated that some other relief materials should be distributed through as ration in addition to the free and subsidized rice, pulses and other things that are being already included. He added that though the MGNREGA works are going on in some areas there is a need to boost its volume and also that the payments must be made immediately after completion of the works.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb recently held an all-party meeting to discuss the situation arising due to the coronavirus pandemic where Manik Sarkar was an special invitee. Sarkar said though he had raised the issues in the meeting, there has been no positive response from the government's side. He further demanded that all the government departments should commence development works.
Expressing grave concern over the sufferings of the people in the present condition, the former Chief Minister said that in many areas people are spending days without food; and that the CPI(M) has decided to distribute relief materials among such people. "Unfortunately, in many places the BJP workers are attacking the CPI(M) workers involved in distributing relief", he alleged, adding that "such attacks took place in at least 29 places. Workers of some other political parties also faced the same predicament."
He also said that though this matter was also discussed in the all-party meeting, the situation is yet to improve. He urged the government to initiate steps to stop such attacks on the people involved in relief distribution activities. He asked the State government to play a positive role in dealing with the crisis and demanded a special package from the Centre.
Sarkar also stressed on increasing the treatment facilities in the State and earmarking of one hospital in every district for the coronavirus patients. He pointed out that patients are suffering due to the closure of doctors' chambers.
The former Chief Minister paid reach tribute to the victims of the coronavirus pandemic and appreciated the doctors, nurses and other medical staffs who are fighting against the virus from the front.