Punjab chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh is treating the coronavirus pandemic as a war-like situation. Along with being home to a large NRI population, Punjab also has about 900,000 migrant workers whose welfare he has to ensure. With the harvest season round the corner, Singh also has to see to it that farmers are able to harvest and the process of procurement of produce by both the Centre and the state is smooth. He has asked his ministers and MLAs to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities, monitor relief work and harvest in their respective constituencies.
Singh himself is working from his farmhouse in Siswan village near Chandigarh with minimum staff and has asked his ministers to avoid gatherings. The two people working closely with him are DGP Dinkar Gupta and former chief secretary Suresh Kumar. On Gupta’s advice, Singh ordered the sealing of the state borders even for essential services, and imposed a full curfew in the state on March 23. He has also asked state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal to develop an economic revival plan. Punjab has deferred all capital expenditure till August and all state departments have been asked to cut down on revenue expenditure by at least 20 per cent.