Speaking on Tripura’s preparedness to fight COVID-19, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Monday said the state had sufficient food stock at the moment and was contemplating additional ration benefits to 5.86 lakh Antodaya Annapurna Yojana (AAY) beneficiaries under the Public Distribution Scheme.
The announcement came in response to proposals moved by Opposition members on the last day of the state budget session, to provide one month’s free ration for the poor and the working class and an allowance of Rs 5,000 for their families to sustain themselves amid restrictions imposed for checking COVID-19.
Replying to Deputy Opposition leader Badal Choudhury’s proposal, CM Deb listed measures taken by his government to check the disease. He said border curfew had been imposed along the state’s 856-km boundary with Bangladesh and inter-state bus service had been stopped.
He also said the state government had asked the Centre to provide infrared thermal scanner devices, different quantities of N95 masks, three-layer masks, disinfectants, etc. to combat the disease.
Deb, who also holds the health portfolio, said 256 persons were currently under quarantine in the state. They were identified by marking their fingers with indelible ink and displaying posters or boards in front of their residences to ensure quarantine.
Meanwhile, the state government has suspended two doctors for negligence in duty pertaining to COVID-19. The CM didn’t give any further details on the issue.
On availability of food supplies, Deb said Tripura had rice buffer stock which would last 76 days, 52 days stock of wheat, sugar stocks for 15 days , salt stocks for 24 days, petrol stocks to last for 8 days and ‘sufficient’ stocks of LPG.
The House passed Rs 19,891.60 crore budget by guillotine amidst uproar and walkout of opposition members, who alleged they were not given chance to discuss the budget. The budget proposal, which has a deficit of Rs 511.41 crore, was placed earlier on Friday by Finance Minister Jishnu Devvarma.
Opposition leader Manik Sarkar later criticised the conduct of business in the House as ‘undemocratic’.
Speaker Rebati Mohan Das suspended question-answer session on budget estimates for the day to accommodate calling attention notices and reference period notices since the assembly session was shortened from five days to two days amid coronavirus. The session ended with passing of three bills – The Tripura Industries Facilitation Amendment Bill, Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill and The Tripura Agricultural Produce Markets (3rd Amendment) Bill.
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