Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 6 April, asked Union ministers to prepare a plan for their respective ministries to contain the economic impact of COVID-19 on a war footing, while asserting that this crisis is an opportunity to boost the ''Make-in-India'' initiative and reduce dependence on other countries.
Modi asked each ministry to identify 10 key decisions and 10 priority areas of focus once the 21-day lockdown ends, while chairing a meeting of the council of ministers, held for the first time via video-conferencing amid the country wide lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
According to an official statement, Modi told the ministers,
“Ministries should prepare a business continuity plan and be ready to fight the economic impact of COVID-19 on war footing. The crisis is also an opportunity to boost Make in India and reduce dependence on other countries.”
Talking about farmers and crop harvesting, Modi asked the ministers to explore the use of innovative solutions like ''truck aggregators'' on the lines of app-based cab services to connect farmers with mandis.
He emphasised that lockdown measures and social distancing norms need to go hand in hand.
Modi said the ministers should remain in touch with state and district authorities, provide solutions to emergent problems and formulate district-level micro plans to combat coronavirus, which has infected over 4,000 people and killed at least 109.
The ministers provided feedback to the prime minister on the steps being taken to meet the challenges in tackling the impact of the pandemic.
This is perhaps the first time in the country's history that a meeting of the council of ministers or the cabinet was held virtually.