“Will boost Uttarakhand economy once lockdown ends”

Uttarakhand has been making all-out efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat leading from the front. The hill state has reported 48 cases so far, with no deaths. In an interview to IANS on a range of issues, Rawat said efforts have already been initiated to boost the state economy, and that the process will gain momentum once the lockdown ends. He said a ministerial group and high-powered committee will be constituted to gear up the state economy and generate jobs. Excerpts from interview: ...

By Navneet Mishra
  • Mr Trivendra Singh Rawat

The lockdown has led to loss of avenues of livelihood. Those in the unorganised sector are worried about their survival. What does the Uttarakhand Government intend to do?

We are carefully and gradually restarting economic activities. Since the Government is worried, it has asked for giving permissions for construction activities in the Government and private sectors. Police will be asked to ensure social distancing. Wearing of face masks in public would be compulsory.

A ministerial group under Cabinet Minister Subodh Uniyal will be set up to see how we can compensate the state exchequer for the losses suffered due to the coronavirus scare and subsequent lockdown. We will see how local jobs can be generated, how youths can be given employment and the labourers made more financially secure. Ministers Dr Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya would be members of this ministerial group.

Also, we will connect with the migrant labourers from different states currently living in Uttarakhand, who hold importance in various sectors of the state, would be contacted through videoconferencing to elicit their views on various issues.We have formed a high-powered committee led by retired IAS officer Indu Kumar Pandey to give suggestions on ways and means to boost the state economy and generate jobs.

We are holding discussions with experts in the fields of tourism, agriculture, industry, animal husbandry and horticulture. We just have to be patient—we will defeat coronavirus and we will boost the state economy thereafter.