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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is giving utmost priority to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector to boost the economy in the times of Covid-19 pandemic, said State industries Minister Dibya Shakar Mishra on Sunday.

“In the fight against COVID19, saving life and livelihood is our priority. Covid warriors have continued their fight against the pandemic. All efforts are being made to save the lives of people,” Mishra said.

“The MSME is the most important sector for livelihood along with industries. If industrial houses providing employment to one person, nine persons are comparatively getting jobs in MSME sector. So the ratio is 1:9. Therefore, we are focusing on strengthening MSME sector to provide more livelihood support to people,” he added.

The minister further said many rounds of meeting and discussions have been taken place in this regard and more than 70 per cent fund disbursement has been done to boost the MSME sector in the State.

He said efforts are being made to strengthen the rural economy by enhancing MGNREGS and agriculture. In addition, the MSME department is trying to help the traditional professions in the villages.

The minister said the government is also trying to provide employment to the people who returned to the State after Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown.

“High skilled labourers who returned to their native places during Covid-19 lockdown are going back to their workplaces. Those staying back will be provided employment,” he added.

Reacting to the statement of the Minister, State BJP vice-president Bhrugu Baxipatra said, “All the industrial estates in Berhampur, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khurda, Balasore and other parts of the State which were established by the then Odisha government 40 years back are lying closed. They are now being used for other purpose. The State government does not have any arrangements to provide employment to people.”

“I request CM Naveen Patnaik not to make shallow announcements, rather translate them into action. Provide employment to youths of Odisha. Do not create a pathetic situation in the State,” the BJP leader added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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