Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday asked the central government for allocating funds from PM CARES for the rehabilitation of lakhs of migrant workers displaced due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The hardship faced by the people could have been mitigated if there was a well laid out strategy, he said in the Lok Sabha, adding that the intensity of the pandemic could have been moderated. Chowdhury also flagged the issue of "under-reporting" of COVID-19 deaths in the country.
On the issue of migrant workers, he said lakhs of such workers were forced to flee to their home states on foot as there was no means of transportation during the 'severe' lockdown period.
Now these workers are not finding work in their home states to sustain themselves and again compelled to move to places where they can find work, he said.
To rehabilitate such workers, the Congress leader said, the government should consider spending some amount from the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund.
Badruddin Ajmal of AIUDF and Sri Krishna D Lavu of YSRCP also talked about the issue of unemployment. Lavu suggested that the government enhance its spending towards infrastructure which would lead to job creation.
Besides, Chowdhury also raised the issue of overcharging by private hospitals amid the pandemic outbreak. Members cutting across party lines spoke on fleecing of distressed COVID-19 patients by such private hospitals.
Danish Ali of BSP urged the Centre to enhance the infrastructure of district hospitals. He said he was pained that people were giving religious colour to the disease while referring to the Tablighi Jamaat controversy.
A Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in March in Delhi's Nizamuddin area had significantly contributed to the doubling of coronavirus cases in India.