As expected Odisha has today taken the first step towards unlocking. The State Chief Secretary has made some major announcements regarding relaxations to the complete lockdown in force in the State since May 5.
With the festive season being heralded from the fest of Raja Utsav in the State, the State CS Suresh Mahapatra has offered a 'sweet' deal to the people of Odisha. The sweet shops in the whole of the State are going to remain open from 6 am on June 17. More sectors are also thrown open keeping in view the jobs they create and the revenue they contribute to the State exchequer. The details are given below.
- Cycle sales and service stores to lift up their shutters. All such shops and services will remain open from 6 am - 5 pm in the districts of western and southern Odisha.
- In the 13 districts like Cuttack, Khordha, including Bhubaneswar, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Nayagarh, the cycle sales and service stores will stay open till 1 PM.
- Now the State government has given permission for sales of auto, including 4 wheelers, in Odisha. The sale of vehicles, automobile accessories and services have been allowed across the State within the stipulated hours.
- Moreover, in the window of time permitted, henceforth across the State, shops dealing with construction materials can resume their operation. As per CS's statement, the shops dealing with construction materials, including hardware and paints, can be opened during the business hours permitted in the respective districts.
- In almost 60 per cent of districts in the State, all - essential and non-essential shops. As many as 17 districts like Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Bargarh, Sonepur, Balangir, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Boudh etc will see sale and services of all electronics goods including ACs, washing machines, mobile, radio etc.
The Sweet Deal
With the reports that the dairy industry in Odisha having witnessed a loss to the tune of nearly Rs 200 crore, the State government today has given a green signal to open sweet shops in the State. In the neighbouring State West Bengal, faced with widespread resentment, the State government there had allowed the sweet shops to remain open during the lockdown phase during the peak month of May.
As per data with Odisha Animal Husbandry Department, milk farmers in Odisha derive nearly 5-45 per cent of their income from the sale of dairy products. The milk farmers in the State have been bearing heavy losses following the lockdown.
Vroom-ing The Unlock
When the State had received over Rs 1836 crore from tax on motor vehicle sales, this fiscal year the target has been to mobilise Rs 2100cr. In order to kickstart State's revenue inflow, the Odisha government has consciously opened up the sale and services of this vital auto sector.
As per data with the State government, trade and auto services creates maximum job opportunities in the services sector in the State. In order to insulate the sector from the pandemic blow, Odisha has consciously allowed operations of the trade and auto services sector in the State.