BHUBANESWAR: With a humongous task of rescuing economic and livelihood activities from the grip of Covid-19 pandemic at hand, the Odisha Government on Friday announced a Rs 17,000 crore package to provide employment and income generation opportunities to the worst affected sections including the mig rant wo rkers and farmers.
The decision was taken at the meeting of Council of Ministers presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of first anniversary of the BJD Government in its fifth term.
The package named as the Special Livelihood Intervention Plan will be launched in June and implemented till March 2021.
Announcing the package, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said this livelihood support programme will be implemented in rural areas to support the people, who have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. The State is facing an unprecedented economic crisis due to the pandemic that has been aggravated by the return of nearly four lakh migrant workers from other states and the number still rising. The immediate job at hand is to ensure every one has access to livelihood opportunities.
The plan will generate employment in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and animal resources development, MGNREGS, forest, and handlooms and handicrafts. The focus will be farmers and wage earners, Tripathy said, adding that the Government has also taken several measures in the industrial, tourism and other employment generating sectors. The package includes `6,440 crore for MGNREGS works to create 20 crore mandays for 46 lakh persons.
Of this, Rs 140 crore would be spent on skill development of migrant workers. The Panchayati Raj department will train 40,000 returnees migrant workers.
Besides, Rs 373 crore will be spent on agriculture and allied sectors for the benefit of over 24.57 lakh farmers. The Cabinet meeting following the Council of Ministers also approved 22 proposals with focus on reviving various sectors. It approved an amendment to the Odisha Tourism Policy 2016 to ease land allocation for hotel projects.
Odisha unveils Rs 17,000 crore package
The Government has also decided to invest Rs 6,000-7,000 crore each in two industrial parks - a Textile Park at Dhamra and a Medical Park at Dhenkanal.
Both will be set up on 1,000 acre of land each.
The Chief Secretary said while 20,000 people will find employment opportunities at the proposed Dhamra park, 16,000 people will get jobs at Dhenkanal.
He said efforts are on to revive the MSME sector which employs the most number of people after agriculture.
All skilled migrant workers will get due job opportunities, he said, adding that economic revival was a major task before the State Government in and post-pandemic period.