May 27, 2021 8:39:17 pm
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema on Thursday wrote to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh demanding financial assistance to taxi drivers, labourers, shopkeepers, small artists and other poor sections during the pandemic.
“At such a time, the Punjab government imposed a lockdown, due to which the work of the common people came to a standstill and they were forced to leave their work and sit at home,” he said, adding that due to the lockdown, every section was going through financial hardship.
The LoP said that governments of various states in the country were providing different types of assistance to the people in such times. “Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government had announced financial assistance of Rs 5,000 for over 2.10 lakh labourers and 1.56 lakh drivers and other poor sections, which had also started reaching the beneficiaries,” said Cheema. He added that even in Punjab, various sections of people including taxi drivers, laborers, small shopkeepers and artists were going through a recession. “Taxi and auto drivers have also been unable to pay their vehicles’ installments due to restrictions on traffic movement,” he said.
The LoP further said that NRI Punjabis were also not coming to Punjab this time due to the closure of international flights, which was causing further decline of business for taxi drivers. Cheema said that the chief minister should intervene in this matter and issue orders to loan companies to stop collecting installments from small businesses for some time. He appealed to the CM to provide financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to taxi and auto drivers and labourers, on the lines of efforts by Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government, so that they can support their families.
Cheema said that in addition to this, the people who make their living by organising programmes at weddings, including small shopkeepers, were also going through difficult times without any work. “Along with waiving of electricity bills of small shopkeepers, financial assistance should also be provided to small artists,” he added. The AAP leader said that as the chief minister of the state, the people of Punjab were now expecting Capt Amarinder Singh to take them by the arm in this difficult time.
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