National Conference asks Centre to help stranded students, laborers

National Conference on Thursday sought mitigation of the impact of lost wages of unorganized labor force in J&K owing to the prevailing situation.

In a statement the party requested government of India and J&K government to ensure that stranded students, businessmen, laborers in Bangladesh and in other parts of the country were properly taken care of which includes providing safe shelter and food.

“The Central government must come to the rescue of such students and provide them with every possible help including food, accommodation and safe repatriation to Kashmir,” he said.

While expressing concern over loss of jobs to poor and daily wagers, he said, “The earning of the daily wagers mostly unorganized labors, hawkers, and marginal traders is already uncertain as far as J&K is concerned. Previous lockdowns, curfews and communication blockage also had a crushing blow on the people who live by hand to mouth,” he said.

“The government should sincerely think about doling out advance payments to old age pensioners, enhance food grain subsidies and immediate payment of rural job schemes and wage arrears besides ensuring distribution of personal hygiene material and other items. So far the response of the J&K government towards the economic crisis has been abysmal, and not in line with other states and UT’s, where local government have gone an extra mile to mitigate the suffering of its people by dolling out special packages,” he said.

He sought a comprehensive economic package from the government to mitigate the hardship resulting from Covid-19 to the most vulnerable people across J&K.

Meanwhile, the party MP Muhammad Akbar Lone sought deferment of due dates of making payment of water and electricity bills by two months and urged the government to subsidize such payments by 50 percent.

“Monthly rations for April and May should be provided free to all BPL families and at more subsidized rates to APL families. We are going through unprecedented situation; it requires a empathetic response from government. The lackluster attitude of the government will only add to woes of people particularly poor,” he said.

Senior party leaders Mian Altaf Ahmad and Sakina Itoo sought public distribution of essential items including personal hygiene material by the government to the people living in all far-flung areas of J&K.

Besides, the two leaders demanded enhanced bonus for frontline workers including doctors, paramedic staff, police and ground staffers of municipal committees, PHE and power.