In the midst of COVID-19, South Indian states have a mixed record of fighting the virus. Tamil Nadu with over 9,600 cases continues to be the worst affected state down South.
Here are the major developments from the southern part of the country on Friday evening:
1. Tamil Nadu government offices to function with 50% strength
The Chief Secretary has announced that all government offices in the state will begin to function from May 18 with 50% strength and a method shall be evolved wherein employees can work on alternate days or on shifts. The government had earlier shut down government offices in view of the COVID-19 situation.
2. Kerala School admissions to begin from Monday: CM
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that parents can admit their children in schools beginning from Monday. However, strict social distancing norms are expected to be followed. However, many parents have expressed their concern over safety issues even as the State is said to be slipping back in their fight against the virus.
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3. TN demands a special financial package from the Centre
Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam has welcomed the financial package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and requested the Centre to announced a dedicated package for the state which has lost out on massive revenue from manufacturing firms.He pointed out that many industries had shut down and were struggling to survive amidst the lockdown imposed in the state. Opposition Leader MK Stalin too echoed similar sentiments.
4. Telangana CM to chair meeting over Godavari river water sharing
Following recent disputes with the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, it has now been decided that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will chair a meeting on May 17 to decide on the quantum of river water sharing with the neighbouring state and its utilization with respect to storage and other power generation projects.
5. Karnataka amends the APMC Act to facilitate farmers growth
The ordinance that was sent back by Governor Vajubhai Vala has now been re-promulgated by the Cabinet, despite massive opposition by the opposition parties and some farmer groups. The ordinance seeks to clip the powers of the Mandis or Agricultural Produces Marketing Committees who had the monopoly as far as selling of farm produces were concerned. The middlemen in these mandis ruled the roost whereas the poor farmers suffered the most. This now has been amended and the farmers have been given permission to sell their produce directly to corporates and other individuals.