Former prime minister Manmohan Singh will guide a group of experts in formulating a post-Covid-19 revival strategy for Punjab. The announcement was made by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday. Punjab has so far recorded 313 novel coronavirus cases and 18 deaths.
“I had written to Dr Manmohan Singh Ji to guide us along with the group of experts headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia & I am grateful to him for accepting. We have been working hard to steer Punjab to the path of economic growth & post Covid-19 we will again focus on same,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.
On April 25, Punjab had constituted a group of experts, headed by noted economist and former deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, to revive the state’s economy.
The group, which includes leading economic and industry experts, shall recommend to the Punjab government a short-term as well as medium-term action plan, including a fiscal management strategy along with other policy measures, to revive the state’s economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.
I had written to Dr Manmohan Singh Ji to guide us along with the group of experts headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia & I am grateful to him for accepting. We have been working hard to steer Punjab to the path of economic growth & post #Covid19 we will again focus on same. pic.twitter.com/EKCZkqNKHK
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) April 27, 2020
The 20-member group has been asked to submit its initial set of recommendations by July 31, 2020, followed by two more reports by September 30 and December 31, 2020.
The 3-month gap between the first two reports will allow the group time to take into account the larger impact of the disease during summer, a government statement said.
Flagging the fund crunch in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, Amarinder Singh on Monday sought the release of GST arrears of over Rs 4,000 crore from the Centre.
Last week, Singh said it might not be possible to lift the lockdown completely for some more time. Reiterating that “his priority was saving lives of Punjabis”, the chief minister said “the life of my Punjabis is more important, factories can be restarted but we can’t get people back”.
The Punjab government is also preparing a new testing strategy which it says will be “most effective in containing the (coronavirus) infection and preventing its spread any further”. The new approach is being finalised with the help of experts from US-based Johns Hopkins University and Chandigarh-based PGIMER.