New Delhi, May 16 : Even as thousands of migrant workers are walking back to their native places across the country amid the lockdown, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said he has arranged over 1,000 buses at the state border to transport the migrant workers till the borders of the states concerned.
Explaining the strategy for the lockdown 4.0, Chouhan said he would allow the economic activity in the state, but no permission will be given to carry on any religious or industrial activities in the containment zones.
He said barbers in the salons which have been closed since the lockdown will be provided a financial package in the coming days.
In a video conference with a group of mediapersons, Chouhan said, "To date, we have brought back over 3.84 lakh migrant workers of the state from different parts of the country."
Speaking about the people of other states walking back to their native states through Madhya Pradesh, he said, "In Madhya Pradesh, we have arranged for over 1,000 buses at the state borders for the migrant workers of other states travelling through Madhya Pradesh."
"We have also made arrangement for their breakfast and lunch at the border districts," he said.
Chouhan urged the adjoining states to prepare a list of the people willing to travel to Madhya Pradesh and drop them at the border of the state.
"We have asked the adjoining states to give us a list of our people willing to come back or drop them till the border district of the state and from there we will arrange for buses to transport them back to their home districts," he said.
Responding to IANS question of his government's strategy for the lockdown 4.0, which will commence from May 18, Chouhan said, "When lockdown was announced, our objective was 'jaan bhi, jahan bhi'.
And now as Prime MInister Narendra Modi has also talked about starting the economic activities, we will allow economic activities in industries by following all safety protocols."
The Chief Minister said economic activities will not be allowed in the containment zones and no permission will be given for public ceremonies and religious programmes during lockdown 4.0.
He said his government will provide a financial package to barbers and salons as the sector has remained closed since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown on March 25.
He said his government has deposited over Rs 13,600 crore in the bank accounts of the people under different schemes.
"We are in the process of identifying more sectors that have been hit by the lockdown amid the lockdown," the Chief Minister said.
To a question how Madhya Pradesh government will attract investment in the state as a number of foreign companies are now willing to invest in India, he said the state government has made the rules simpler for granting licence to start an industry.
"Earlier to start an MSME industry, one had to fill 63 forms for taking permission from different offices.
Now the entire process has been made easier and everything has been done online. Now anyone can get permission by filling the online form and get the permission the same day," he said.
(Anand SIngh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)