Odisha CM announces Rs 1690.46 Cr COVID assistance for vulnerable sections of society


Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced Rs 1690.46 crore assistance to the economically and socially vulnerable sections of Odisha. This will benefit landless farmers, construction workers, urban poor, indigenous peoples, state food security beneficiaries, NREGA workers, and Dibyang students.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister said that the financial situation of all sections of the society has been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. But socially and financially vulnerable people are the most affected. The Chief Minister said that during the first wave of the Covid, various assistance provided by the state government last year gave a huge relief to the various sections of the society from the adverse effects of the pandemic.

He added that due to the second wave of COVID-19, lockdowns have been going on in various parts of the state in phases for the past two months. It has also weakened the financial position of the poor and working class. “In view of this, the state government has announced the assistance package for them,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Under the package, 17.83 lakh landless farming families in the state will be given special assistance of Rs 1,000 per beneficiary under the state’s flagship KALIA scheme. The Chief Minister has also announced that Rs 207 crore will be provided to landless farming families in three installments under the KALIA Yojana.

Similarly, the state government is implementing the Mukta Yojana to provide employment to the urban poor during the COVID lockdown. Under the scheme, Rs 260 crore will be provided to the poor living in 114 municipalities of the state by December 2021. In addition to their daily wages, workers under the NREGS scheme will be paid an additional Rs 50 per day as the Chief Minister’s assistance. Between April 21 to June 21, the state government will bear Rs 300 crore for the increased wages. It may be mentioned here that 4 crore human days have been created under the NREGS scheme during this period.

Food security has always been a priority of the state government. The Chief Minister has announced that 5 kg rice will be provided free of cost to the beneficiaries of the state food security scheme from July to November 21. It will cost Rs 72.8 crore.

There are 66,214 people from 13 indigenous tribes living in Odisha. The Chief Minister has announced that they will be given Rs 5,000 per family for livelihood assistance. A sum of Rs 33.10 crore will be spent on this. The money will be deposited directly into their bank account. Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students will have their pre-matric scholarships credited to their parents’ bank accounts directly from April 21 to September 21 in two phases. Rs 252.35 crore will be spent on this and 5.40 lakh students will benefit from it.

The Chief Minister has announced Rs 1,500 crore for registered construction workers in the state. Rs 360 crore will be spent on this.

The Banishree scholarships for Dibyang students, who are not studying in special schools, will continue and they will be awarded between Rs 200 and Rs 350 (depending on class) from April 21 to June 21. It will benefit 26,465 students and will cost Rs 3.62 crore. From April to June 21, special school students who stay at home and study online will be paid Rs 1,245 per month for food expenses. It will benefit 6471 students and will cost Rs 2.41 crore.

From April 21 to June 21, non-residential students will be given a monthly stipend of Rs 370 and Rs 3.62 crore will be spent on this. Similarly, 344 non-residential students will be given a monthly grant of Rs 360 from April 21 to June 21. It is estimated that it will cost Rs 3.80 lakh.

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