Agartala: In a bid to recover from economic losses due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb made an appeal to all the residents to increase activities in the primary sectors as an alternative to tackle the adverse impact of lockdown on the state’s economy.
A press release issued from the chief minister’s office (CMO) on Sunday informed that the CM has said that primary sectors like poultry, fishery, animal husbandry, dairy, agriculture, horticulture and floriculture generate early income with less investment and may be focused on to increase productivity.
“Our government started working to strengthen the primary sectors from the beginning. But, considering the present situation, the deadline we set for achieving self-sufficiency in such sectors has to be reduced by one or two years so that the economy that suffered a lot following the COVID19 pandemic can be balanced,” Deb said.
He also said that the government would not step back from its goal of transforming Tripura into a model state and sought cooperation from all sections of people.
Tripura earns maximum revenue of around Rs 1,500 crore per year from the rubber sector but the demand has now come down in markets outside the state. Tripura suffered a loss of Rs 250 crore in the past two and half months — closure of the rubber industries in some states might be the reason. In such a situation, the government has decided to boost the primary sectors as an alternative to increase the revenue, Deb added.
Laying importance on the need for developing primary sectors, Deb urged the people to start working immediately. If needed, he suggested for availing of subsidised loans under various schemes.
“A good number of people, especially indigenous sections, are involved in fisheries for livelihood and fish seeds are produced in the state. Andhra Pradesh procures fish seeds of Rs 150 crore from West Bengal. If Tripura can meet the demand, then the state will earn the same amount and the income of fish cultivators will increase substantially,” Deb said.
He also said that the government was already contacted with Andhra Pradesh in this issue and has urged all concerned engaged in this sector to work hard so that Tripura can supply the fish seeds to Andhra Pradesh this year itself.
Speaking about the harvesting of fruits like jackfruits, pineapples and oranges, Deb said that orange is produced in various places like Killa, Srinagar and Jampui Hills. The production has to be increased by three times. “In horticulture, the Centre and states are working on ‘one district, one fruit or one crop‘ formula. We have planned to apply the formula in block-level,” Deb added.
He also stressed on increasing production dairy, agriculture and other primary sectors to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency.
Referring to the lockdown, Deb said that the government had already allowed single shops and rural markets to open by maintaining the social distancing norms and also urged the market committees to ensure that the social distancing norms and other guidelines are followed properly. He also stressed on the need for engaging volunteers instead of depending on police.
Deb also emphasised on use of face covers while urging the citizens to avoid spitting and urinating in public places and said that the government would arrange thermal screening in the markets.