Odisha announces Rs 17,000 crore programme to generate employment
Odisha would spend Rs 17,000 crore over the next 10 months, including Rs 6,640 crore under NREGA, to generate employment through sectors like agriculture, fisheries and animal resources development, forest and handlooms and handicrafts in rural areas as part of a special plan.
The state council of ministers, which met on Friday, approved the special livelihood intervention plan that will help the spend to tide over the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief secretary Asit Tripathy said the state would generate employment of 20 crore person-days under NREGS, while Rs 140 crore will be spent for skill development of 40,000 migrant workers. For the migrant workers who have returned to Odisha, Rs 1,000 crore would be spent for creation of 1.05 lakh farm ponds under “Mo Pokhari” initiative.
The livelihood package includes Rs 200 crore support for 24.56 lakh farmers who will be supplied with 5 lakh quintals of subsidised certified quality seeds, hybrid vegetable seeds covering 50,000 hectare, vegetable seed mini kits covering 50,000 hectare, seedlings for fruit plants for backyard plantation to 2 lakh farmers and high-value vegetables in 40 tribal blocks. At least 4 lakh plastic crates will be supplied to farmers with a 90% subsidy.
“Contract farming will be encouraged. 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,” said the chief secretary.
For fisheries, Rs 111.47 crore support will be given to 38,900 farmers for new fish ponds, input assistance to 1,500 women self-help groups for pisciculture in panchayat tanks and livelihood support to 10,600 marine fishermen.
The cabinet also granted permission to allow workers to work 115 hours overtime in three months. Women workers can now be engaged in all small and large-scale industries.
“The government has finalised detail guidelines for their safety and security during night hours,” said the chief secretary.
Last month, the Odisha government had announced the Urban Wage Employment Initiative worth Rs 100 crore for 4.50 lakh families residing in 114 urban local bodies across the state.
Under the programme, developmental works such as cleaning of drains, remediation of water bodies, remodelling of playgrounds and parks, construction of public toilets can be undertaken. The beneficiaries would get their payment once a week.