National secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) K. Narayana demanded that contractors give ₹2 lakh each to migrant workers coming back to take part in construction works.

Speaking to the media through a video-conference on Saturday, he stated that all governments and managements had recognised the importance of migrant workers for economic activities. “Without them, projects and economic activities are not possible. However, both contract companies and local governments have failed to understand their problems during lockdown,” he said.

“The migrant workers would have stayed back had they been given at least ₹10,000 or they should have been sent back to their native place by the agencies who hired them. They were forced to walk back home thousands of kilometres away,” he added. The CPI leader said their party would encourage such sections to come back to work provided ₹2 lakh each was deposited to their accounts.

He faulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking ‘wrong’ decisions while imposing and lifting lockdown. “Now that the situation is against a lockdown in spite of huge spike in coronavirus cases, the way out is to increase tests and improve the treatment facilities,” he said. He also criticised the Centre for selling public sector undertakings.

Dr. Narayana requested the Centre to not accept the proposal of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to pay in advance for treatment of COVID patients by private hospitals.

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