Dr Daljit Singh Cheema says shut down having devastating effect on lakhs of shop keepers and tradesmen
Asks CM to deal with paralysis in govt functioning due to employee strike instead of shutting down the State
Chandigarh, August 22, 2020: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the Congress government to improve health services instead of indulging in coercive shut downs which were having a devastative effect on small shop keepers, tradesmen and skilled workers.
Stating that the Congress government was taking unilateral decisions to hide its failures and prevent large scale protests against its misrule, former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema asked the government to strike a balance between lives and livelihood. “The government should improve ambulance services and hospital infrastructure, increase bed strength and recruit more doctors and nurses. It is not doing this at all and instead is forcing close downs without any scientific basis. The shut downs will only result in more crowding in markets when they reopen leading to a further spike in COVID-19 cases. They are simultaneously leading to hardship for shop keepers and tradesmen. If the government is so keen to enforce such shut downs it should simultaneously come out with a financial package to support the affected persons”.
Stating that besides shopkeepers and tradesmen lakhs of other people had been robbed of their daily earnings, Dr Cheema said Punjabis expected the government to boost economic activity but it was closing down all businesses to hide its failures in dealing with the pandemic.
The SAD leader said it seemed the government was also afraid that the angst of the people would come down to the streets and this was another reason for the shut down. He said people wanted to ask the government why it was allowing open sale of spurious liquor which had already claimed 135 lives besides leading to an excise revenue loss of Rs 5,600 crore. He said the government was beset with scams be it the liquor scam, sand mining scam into which a CBI inquiry had been ordered by the high court, the seed scam or the recent MGNREGA scam. “The government has earlier run away from discussing these issues by deciding to hold a two hour monsoon session and has now put restrictions on the people to ensure they do not come on the roads to expose the government”.
Dr Cheema also asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to concentrate on the paralysis in government functioning with employees striking work to protest against discrimination being meted out to them. He said it was unfortunate that there was an administrative collapse in Punjab during a time of pandemic and instead of resolving this the government was going in for arbitrary and illogical shut downs.