Odisha CM declares Rs 1,690.46 cr aid package for financially weaker sections hit by Covid

Bhubaneswar: Considering the fact that the second wave of Covid has adversely affected the financial condition of weaker sections and labourers in Odisha, Chief Minister announced special Covid assistance of Rs 1,690.46 crore for these groups. The Chief Minister said the move will benefit landless farmers, construction labourers, urban poor, tribals, State Food Security Act beneficiaries, NREGS workers and divyang students.

As the state-wide lockdown is in force to prevent spread of Covid disease, the financially weaker sections and labourers in the State have been worst affected, Patnaik added.

According to the package, a total of 17.38 lakh families of landless farmers will get  special assistance of Rs 1,000 each under the KALIA scheme. The Chief Minister further announced Rs 207 crore assistance will be provided to the landless farmers in three instalments under the KALIA scheme.

With an aim to provide earning source to urban poor in the State, the government has been implementing ‘Mukta Yojana’, he added. Patnaik further informed work of Rs 260 crore will be provided to the poor people residing in 114 municipal areas up to December 2021.

Labourers working under the NREGS programme will get additional Rs 50 per day assistance above the daily wage. The State government will bear Rs 300 crore towards the increased wage from April 21 to June 21. The government created six crore person work days under NREGS during the period.

Patnaik further said food security has been one of the priorities of the State government. He announced State Food Security Act beneficiaries will get five kg rice each for free from July to November 21. The government will bear Rs 92.86 crore towards the distribution of the free rice.

The Chief Minister said Rs 33.1 crore financial assistance will be given to 66,214 tribals from 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG). Each tribal family will receive Rs 5,000 assistance. The amount will be directly credited to the bank account of the family.

Pre-Matric scholarship for 5.4 lakh SC and ST students in the State from April 21 to September 21 will be credited into the bank account of their parents in two instalments. A total of Rs 252.35 crore will be spent on the scholarships, the Chief Minister informed.

He announced Rs 1,500 special Covid assistance for each registered construction worker in the State. The government will bear Rs 360 crore towards this.

The government will spend Rs 3.62 crore towards Banishree scholarship being provided to 26,465 Divyang students of special schools. Each Divyang student will get the monthly scholarship from Rs 200 to Rs 350 as per his/her class from April to June 21.

Also, each Divyang student of the special schools attending online classes will get Rs 1,245 every month towards food expenses from April to June 21. A total of 6,471 students will be benefitted with the move. The government will spend Rs 2.41 crore towards the food expense, he informed.

Non-residential students will get monthly stipend of Rs 370 each from April to June 21. The government will bear Rs 3.62 crore towards the move, the Chief Minister announced.

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