'Rs 1,000 aid is not enough;' Shailaja wants LDF govt to give more to Covid-hit

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja remarked the Left Democratic Government needs to do much more to support the public in the wake of the overall economic gloom brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last one-and-a-half years.

"The aid announced by the government so far is inadequate. People are facing serious problems. The government should resolve the crisis," Shailaja said criticising the Pinarayi Vijayan government.

"A mere one-time handout of Rs 1,000 is not enough," the legislator representing the Mattanur constituency in the Assembly said throwing light on the hardships brought about by long lockdowns and continuing shutdowns of commercial establishments and workplaces that hit job opportunities.

Last November the previous LDF government in which she was a minister had announced a Rs 1,000 one-time assistance to certain categories of people badly hit by the lockdowns if they were not eligible for any other financial aid. Moreover, the same quantum of assistance was announced by the CM in May 2021 for families in the Below Poverty Line category.

The small and medium-scale industries have been badly hit, she pointed out.

A financial package should be announced for 'poor labourers', she demanded. Advancing interest-free loans was another demand.

Shailaja spoke ahead of the announcement of the Rs 5650-crore supplementary stimulus package by state Finance Minister K N Balagopal on Friday. The aid is meant for small traders, industry and agriculture severely hit by the pandemic.

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