In an exclusive interview with India TV, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday said that the strategies for Unlock 1 in the state had begun much earlier in a phased manner and the state is now ready for the unlocking phase. Rupani said that from April 15, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) was permitted to function so that farmers could sell their crops without any difficulty.
Besides, the government had permitted several industries to resume their operations in villages from April 20, and from April 25, export units were allowed to operate. While from May 19, other commercial activities started functioning. In this way, the Gujarat government had planned the unlock strategies in a phased manner.
The chief minister shared that a committee was set up under ex-Finance Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia to revive the economy during the lockdown period. The committee has submitted its interim report on various industrial and commercial activities in the state following which the state government took its decision on Unlock 1.
As per a recent report, Gujarat received Rs 42,976 crore in FDI for FY 2019-20, which is much more than other states like, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, said Rupani while adding that his government is looking forward to better investment opportunities in future as the state ranks well in the ease of doing business' list.
Speaking about the coronavirus situation in Gujarat, Rupani said that currently, the state has 5,800 active cases, while 9,900 patients have been recovered so far. Gujarat was the second worst-hit state in India earlier but now it has slipped to the fourth rank. This is due to sudden surveillance and target testing that improved the COVID-19 situation in the state. "Our government strictly follows the guidelines issued by ICMR and, therefore, as many as 2,12,000 tests have been conducted in the state so far.
"Over 3,500 COVID-19 tests are being conducted daily and there is no lack of PPE kits, beds, hospitals, medicines in the state. Our government anticipates that the coronavirus situation will be soon brought under control," said the Gujarat CM.
Moreover, the High Court had praised the efforts taken by the state government for handling the coronavirus cases and said that the opposition should not play politics at this crucial time.
"Much before the Centre's guidelines on coronavirus, the Gujarat government took cognisance of the situation and acted upon it. Meanwhile, people in Gujarat are also showing their responsibilities in containing the virus as they are maintaining social distancing and wearing masks," Rupani added.
On being asked if the workforce has really reached around 50 per cent in the state due to the migration of workers and labourers, Rupani asserted that they still have 1.5 crore workers in Gujarat and those who left during the lockdown would definitely come back.
Praising the Railways and Center's initiative of Shramik Special Trains, Rupani said, "More than 1,000 trains have ferried over 14,50,000 people from Gujarat to their native places till now.