Centre should reconsider suspension of MPLAD fund: Kerala Chief Minister
Thiruvananthapuram, April 07: Welcoming the decision of the Union Cabinet to reduce the salaries of the Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of the Parliament (MPs) for a year; Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today slammed the Centre for cutting the MP’s Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, “We strongly deplore the decision of the Cabinet to suspend the MP’s Local Area Development Scheme. This would badly affect the local area development activities being carried out by the MPs in their constituencies. As far as Kerala is concerned, the financial assistance declared by the Central Government is meagre and grossly inadequate. It is in this context that the funds from MPLADS become essential for funding COVID related activities and development works. Few of our MPs had announced their intention in procuring PPE, testing kits and other medical equipment using their MPLADS but now we stand to lose them. The MPLADS fund is for the people of the MP’s constituency and not for the Central Government’s fundraising.”
The CM also said that in case of any calamity, the intervention should happen locally and MPs have played an important role in addressing several issues at the grassroots level. At a time when the State Government is committed to preventing the outbreak of the pandemic, the regional activities should be given priority and there is an immediate need of funds locally.
“The decision of the Central Government goes against the spirit of the federal setup. They should reconsider this decision to suspend MPLADS. The Central Government should in fact, give instructions to the MPs to use their MPLADS funds for Coronavirus mitigation activities and not on the contrary”, the Chief Minister added.
He also announced that funds from MLA Local Area Development (MLALAD) scheme can be used for buying medical equipment and other necessary items required for COVID care. Few MLAs in the State have already announced their decision to spend the funds on procuring medicines, ventilators, PPE kits, masks and sanitisers. He appealed to all the MLAs to utilise their Local Area Development fund for such activities in their constituencies.
On the occasion of World Health Day, the CM expressed his appreciation for the service and sacrifice of all the Malayalee nurses serving all over the world. He also said about the concern of the State Government regarding the welfare of the Malayali nurses across the world who are involved in Covid care. “We have a responsibility to care for them and we have our apprehensions about them.” He disclosed that he has written to the Prime Minister and also the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Delhi regarding the condition and safety of the nurses from Kerala working in those States.
Nine fresh Coivid-19 cases in Kerala today, 12 recoveries; total 263 patients under treatment
Thiruvananthapuram, April 07: Nine fresh cases of the Coronavirus infection were reported in Kerala today. Four of the new cases are from Kasargod District, three from Kannur district, and one each from Malappuram and Kollam districts. Four of the new cases are in persons who came from abroad, four from those who returned after attending the Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin and the remaining three have got infected through primary (local) contact with other patients.
There are 336 confirmed cases of Coivd-19 in the State with 263 patients presently under treatment in various hospitals across Kerala. 12 patients have tested negative today – five in Kannur district, four in Ernakulam district and one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha and Kasargod districts.
The total number of people under observation in Kerala has further come down to 1,46,683. Of these, 1,45,934 are under observation at their homes and 752 in hospitals. 131 people were hospitalised today. 11,232 samples were sent for testing and 10,250 have tested negative.
The Chief Minister today appealed to all the participants of the Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin now in Kerala to contact their nearest hospital or medical centre for Coronavirus testing. “We will help them and they should have no apprehensions.”
He also announced that steps are being taken to disinfect and sanitise the zoos in the State. He also requested the domestic pet owners to ensure that similar steps are taken at homes for the protection of the pets.
Mobile Shops and Vehicle Workshops to open in the State
The Chief Minister today announced a schedule for opening a section of the shops in the State. Shops involved in sales and service of mobile phones would open on Sundays. Workshops, garages occupied in repair and maintenance of vehicles and associated spare parts shots would open twice a week, on Sundays and Thursdays.
Shops selling electrical appliances like fans and air conditions are also being considered for opening once in a week. The days would be announced later.
Electricians are being considered part of essential services and they now have the permission to go to houses and flats for repairing or fault rectification.