Amid the lockdown for the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Gujarat government on Saturday allowed fishing and allied activities of processing, packaging, maintenance of cold chains and transportation, in the process bringing relief to those employed in the sector, a senior official said. From Saturday, fishermen can go out in the Arabian Sea, said Ashwani Kumar, secretary to the chief minister.
“Related activities of processing, packaging, maintenanceof cold chains, and transportation of fish and prawns have also been allowed from today,” he said. “The state government has also decided to extend the benefit of Rs 1000 ex-gratia payment to widow pensioners, that is Rs 500 each in the months of April and May, as relief during the lockdown to non-BPL beneficiaries,” he added.
The Gujarat government will pay Rs 35 crore to around 3.46 lakh such beneficiaries, and the Centre will contribute Rs 9.74 crore to give Rs Rs 1000 each to 97,474 widows from the BPL category, Kumar said. Kumar also informed that seven people were arrested under the Prevention of Black Marketing Act for diverting food grains meant for distribution among the poor in Prantij in Sabarkantha district. He said around 3.10 lakh passes have been issued for movement of essential commodities.