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Odisha Government Announces Special Package worth Rs. 1690 crore for Landless Farmers, Workers

All of the state's 17.89 lakh landless farmers would receive rupees 1,000 in special assistance as part of the package.

Chintu Das
Odisha Labourers
Odisha Labourers

On June 17, 2021, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a COVID-19 package worth Rs 1690.46 crore for the state's socially and financially disadvantaged individuals. 

As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has cast a shadow over Odisha's rural and concrete economies as a result of prolonged lockdowns, the Naveen Patnaik government on Thursday announced a Rs 1690 crore Covid-19 assistance package for landless farmers, development workers, NREGS employees, particularly vulnerable tribal groups, SC/ST college students, and physically handicapped college students. 

Under the package, each of the state's 17.89 lakh landless farmers would receive Rs 1,000 in special assistance, while landless farmers who have not received their third payment under the Krushak Help for Livelihood and Revenue Augmentation (KALIA) scheme will receive a total of Rs 207 crore. 

Similarly, NREGS workers will be paid an additional Rs 50 per day in addition to the Rs 207 they already receive. From July to November, 5 kg of additional rice will be distributed to participants under the state meals safety scheme. 

Families from 13 of the most vulnerable tribal groups would receive monetary assistance of Rs 5,000 each, while construction workers would receive Rs 1,500 provided they were registered with the state. 

All divyang or college students with disabilities who are not admitted to specific colleges may be eligible for a scholarship ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 350. Similarly, students enrolled in on-line courses at specific colleges would receive Rs 1,245 per month in food assistance. 

Patnaik had sanctioned a sum of Rs. 26.29 crore from the Chief Minister's Reduction Fund as Covid-19 assistance for 87,657 avenue distributors in city areas earlier this month, citing the impact of the prolonged lockdown on their livelihood. The state has been on lockdown for over a month and a half, and it is expected to last through the end of June. On Wednesday, the state government put 17 districts in western and southern Odisha on lockdown for a few hours.

According to the latest data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Financial System (CMIE), nearly 7 lakh people in Odisha lost their jobs after the lockdown was imposed on May 5. According to the CMIE, the unemployment rate in Odisha was 1.9 percent in April, but by May, it had risen to 7%. 

Last year, CM Patnaik introduced the Covid-19 assistance package, which provided working capital assistance of up to Rs 50,000 to small eateries, vegetable retail outlets, tea outlets, bakeries, grinding mills, tailoring, small farm enter suppliers, welding, plumbing, and car mechanic outlets facing disaster as a result of decreased financial actions and changing enterprise circumstances. Producer teams and enterprise teams formed by people working in the agricultural and non-agricultural industries were awarded a one-time loan of Rs 1.5 lakh. 

Enterprises operated by very poor or destitute families, such as physically challenged, particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG), widows, third gender, and households with women as the head, were given a loan of up to Rs 20,000 for the development of the business and upliftment of livelihood. Under bundle 4, expert and semi-skilled migrant workers who returned during the Covid-19 epidemic were given loans of up to Rs 1 lakh for the development of existing businesses and the establishment of new businesses.

Patnaik announced a Rs 17,000 crore package in May of last year to provide job and revenue-generation opportunities to the worst-affected groups, including the 9 lakh migratory workers who returned to Odisha following the lockdown. 

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