‘Announce relief package for daily wage earners’

Kathmandu, March 26

A group of eminent persons have appealed to the government to announce a relief package for daily wage earners and poor people, who are at risk of starvation as the lockdown has robbed them of their daily income.

“We welcome initiatives taken by the government for prevention of outbreak of the coronavirus disease, but the lockdown should not be the reason of starvation for thousands of daily wage earners working in informal sectors. There is an urgent need to ensure that the vulnerable groups won’t compromise on their living in the process of adopting preventive measure against the disease,” said a press release issued by Kalyan Shrestha, Sushila Karki, Kedar Bhakta Mathema, Durga Subedi and Rabindra Mishra today.

They warned that if the COVID-19 outbreak or lockdown persisted longer, it would create a devastating situation for daily wage earners. “Therefore, we urge the government to come up with a special relief package for them without any inordinate delay.

Such package may include distribution of free ration, paid leave, fee waiver for schoolchildren and free medical treatment.

These provisions can also be implemented via local governments,” read the release.

They also appealed to all political parties and general public to work in unison to overcome the present crisis. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, via social media, has demanded the government announce relief package for persons working in informal sectors. Porters, cleaners, rickshaw pullers, streets vendors and garbage collectors are among the daily wage earners.