Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday approved a Rs 200 crore special assistance package for the poor and extremely poor families in the state, among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reported.
“Chief Minister Patnaik emphasizing upon the revival of the rural economy, approved a special assistance package of Rs 200 crore for the poor and extremely poor families in the state affected due to Covid-19 pandemic,” an official release said. “The special package will help the development of livelihood activities of rural poor, very poor and the migrants.”
The decision was taken at a meeting with senior government officials and collectors to review the coronavirus situation and its management in the state.
The chief minister also ordered government departments to work in tandem to uplift about 60 lakh poor families living in the villages, PTI reported.
The package also includes loan assistance up to Rs 50,000 for development of nano and micro enterprises in rural areas. The loans can be availed by all the members of women self-help groups or any of their family members.
Meanwhile, small industries, which are at least six months old, and manufacturers working for at least one year can take a one-time loan of Rs 1.5 lakh. Skilled and semi-skilled workers, who have returned to the state, can avail themselves of Rs 1 lakh loan for setting up a new enterprise or for reviving an existing one.
Enterprises managed by particularly vulnerable tribal groups, widows, families with women as the head, among others will be given a loan of up to Rs 20,000 for development. An official said the assistance package will be valid for six months.
Apart from Odisha, other states like Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal have also announced relief package for the poor to help them during the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers began journeys home on foot in March, after the Centre imposed a countrywide lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Some died on the way due to illness.
India’s overall case count rose to 33,10,234 after 75,760 new infections were reported in 24 hours. The country’s toll went up by 1,023 to 60,472. As many as 25,23,771 people have recovered from the infection in the country.