Chief secretary Suresh Mahaptra has clarified that all industries and related activities will continue without any restriction during night curfew and weekend shutdown while following the Covid guidelines strictly. All industries have been directed to do adequate provisions for checking the Covid infection in their workplaces and campuses.
Similarly, all kinds of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, veterinary services and allied activities, including procurement at mandis, have also been allowed during the weekend shutdown.
A state government source said continuation of economic activities both in urban and rural areas is crucial to keep up the economic momentum in the state.
“For the state government, saving both lives and livelihood is important. The economic activities are allowed to make sure that livelihood does not suffer. Allowing economic activities will also ensure revenue collection for the state,” said a senior government official.
Even as economic activities are allowed, the official said, instructions have been issued to continue all these activities by strict adherence to Covid safety protocols.
As advised by the Centre, the state government has also been focussing on micro-containment to check spread of Corona virus instead of going for a lockdown as the former helps reducing severity of impact on economic activities. The devastating impact of Covid-19 pandemic in the first wave severely affected growth of the state’s economy even as industrial and mining operations were allowed. The Economic Survey 2020-21 projected that the size of Odisha’s economy during 2020-21 financial year would contract by 4.92% compared to 2019-20 as all the major contributors of the state’s economy — agriculture, industry and service sector — would witness negative growth. Similarly, the survey report also said the per-capita income (PCI) would also decline by 2.30% in 2020-21 financial year. Though there has been no specific assessment so far on the impact of the second wave on the state’s economy, experts said economic activities should be allowed to continue.
“According to my view, the service sector, especially tourism, aviation and education, would be severely affected because of the second wave. Though the industry sector will also be affected a bit, industrial production must continue by adhering to Covid norms,” said Pritish Sahu, professor (economics), Birla Global University, Bhubaneswar.