The government should actively extend online services to farmers who are suffering losses in agriculture, horticulture, aqua and poultry sectors due to COVID-19, Naidu added.

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Coronavirus Coronavirus Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 09:10

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday demanded that the Centre should waive taxes on essential sanitary products like face masks and hand sanitiser required for containing the spread of coronavirus.

He also sought a special package on the lines of the Kerala government and compensation to labourers under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

Naidu, in a statement, said that the government should provide 25 percent compensation to those MNREGA workers who lost up to 30 days of work and 50 percent compensation to those who lost work for more than 30 days.

The Kerala government has already announced Rs 20,000 crore package and two months pensions for the beneficiaries, he added.

"Naidu appealed to the Centre to waive taxes on all required sanitary products, especially masks and hand sanitiser," a TDP statement said.

The Centre has declared face masks and hand sanitiser as essential commodities. To stop the spread of the disease, Naidu urged people of the state to cooperate in ensuring sanitation and hygiene in villages, towns, municipalities and corporations.

He also stressed on the need for the government and organisations to use online digital platforms more effectively in order to render services to different sections of people by eliminating physical contact to the maximum possible extent.

The government should actively extend such online services to farmers who are suffering losses in agriculture, horticulture, aqua and poultry sectors due to COVID-19, the TDP chief added.

On holding of the Budget session, he asked the state government to consult legal and medical experts before conducting the Assembly session in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

He warned that any "wrong decision in this time of great human health crisis would prove to be a historic blunder".

The state government was mulling to hold assembly session to pass the budget by month-end.

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