TODAY -

Congress suggests Cabinet committee to tackle COVID-19
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 08 2020: Congress party has suggested the State Government to constitute a Cabinet committee to supervise and streamline the COVID-19 control measures taken up in the State.

Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here this afternoon, MPCC vice-president and former Minister Moirangthem Hemanta noted that the State Government has been working hard to tackle and contain the pandemic but all the efforts of the Government have achieved little success.

On the contrary, COVID-19 cases have been surging incessantly and the death toll has also been increasing, Hemanta said.

Already, the State Consultative Committee on COVID-19 headed by the Chief Minister as chairman and the Joint Committee for Public Awareness on COVID-19 which was constituted at the initiative of the Chief Minister with representatives of CSOs have been working to contain the pandemic, he observed.



Congress suggests Cabinet committee to tackle COVID-19
Congress suggests Cabinet committee to tackle COVID-19


But the powers and functions of these committees are limited and they don't have any authority to adopt any emergency decision.

It is rather unfortunate that these committees were formed with a political perspective, he said.

Hemanta then urged the Government to form a Cabinet committee which would deal with the COVID-19 pandemic exclusively and there is a no harm in setting up sub-committees under the Cabinet committee.

The former Minister recalled that the then State Government constituted a Cabinet Committee and 14 sub-committees under it one year ahead of the National Games held in the State in 1999 and the National Games turned out to be a huge success.

He also sought attention of the State Government to the complaints coming from different quarters about lack of adequate COVID-19 testing facilities.

The total population of Manipur is not very big and the cost of one True Nat Machine is just around Rs five lakh.

The problem of lack of testing facilities can be addressed effectively by purchasing additional machines and kits, Hemanta said.

Recalling that a substantial amount of money was donated to the Chief Minister's COVID-19 Relief Fund by the State's own employees, businessmen, corporate houses, CSOs and social workers in addition to the funds sanctioned by the Central Government exclusively for tackling COVID-19 pandemic, Hemanta opined that there is no harm in releasing certain amount from the relief fund to make up the shortfalls.

The Chief Minister's attention at the moment is restricted to the activities of frontline workers like doctors, nurses, paramedics, district administrations and police, he said.

The Government has not yet bothered to rope in Panchayat, urban local bodies, ADCs, Anganwadis and ASHAs by paying them extra honorarium in the fight against the pandemic.

So far, everything is centralised.

At the same time, the Government is yet to properly acknowledge the sacrifice and contributions of CSOs and NGOs, Hemanta decried.

On the other hand, vast majority of the people have been facing acute shortage of essential commodities including daily food items on account of the protracted lockdown but the Government is yet to work any mechanism to ensure sufficient supply of food items to the people, Hemanta asserted.

There have been complaints of not providing food in time in some COVID care centres, he added.

MPCC general secretaries L Tilotama and Hareshwar Goswami were also present at the press meet.


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