The Odisha government unveiled a Rs 17,000-crore plan on Friday to support the livelihood of people, including farmers and migrant workers, hit hard by the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus outbreak and the ongoing lockdown.
The decision was taken at a Council of Ministers meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a senior official said.
The Council of Ministers approved Special Livelihood Intervention Plan where it is decided that the state government will spend Rs 17,000 crore from June 2020 to March 2021, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy told reporters after the meeting.
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The plan will be implemented in rural areas as the public health crisis has triggered an economic crisis, he said.
The plan will generate employment in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and animal resources development, MGNREGA, forest, and handlooms and handicrafts.
The focus of the plan 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 focus is on rural areas as the majority of the people live there, he said.
However, the details of the plan are yet to be made public.
The Council of Minister meeting which was followed by a Cabinet meeting also approved 22 proposals, besides according post-facto approval to two ordinances already promulgated.
In a bid to make the tourism sector more viable, the Cabinet approved an amendment to the Odisha Tourism Policy 2016 to ease land allocation for hotel projects, Tripathy said.
The chief secretary said the government has decided to invest Rs 6,000-7,000 crore each in two industrial parks at Dhamra and Dhenkanal.
Both the industrial parks will be set up on over 1,000 acres of lands, he said.
Tripathy said while 20,000 people will get employment opportunities at the proposed Dhamra Industrial Park, 16,000 people will get jobs at the industrial park in Dhhenkanal district.
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 during and in the post-pandemic period.
The Cabinet also granted permission to allow workers to work 115 hours overtime in three months and woman workers can now be engaged in all small and large-scale industries, he said.
The government has finalised detailed guidelines for their safety and security during the night hours, he said.
The Cabinet also approved a proposal for the NDRF's permanent company headquarters on 3.50-acre land near PD village in Sadar tehsil in Balasore district, he said.
This apart, the Cabinet gave nod to a proposal to become guarantee for Aska Co-operative Sugar Industries Ltd.
Stating that the state will encourage contract farming, Tripathy said it will cover production, post-harvest and marketing and help agricultural entrepreneurs aggregate produce in a better manner.
"New investment in agriculture will be a win-win situation for farmers, he said.
He said all tourism projects, including hotels and restaurants, will get land from the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation instead of district collectors and get facilities as per the industrial policy resolution.
In another decision, the government allowed OREDA (Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency) to be transferred to the energy department for better management of renewable sources of power.
In regard to COVID-19 management, the chief secretary said the state government has now decided to form ward-level committees to further strengthen community participation.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.