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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced a package for roadside vendors who suffered losses to their livelihoods due to the lockdown imposed in the state amid the rising COVID-19 cases. Patnaik announced a financial package of Rs 29.29 crore for 87,657 vendors across 114 municipal areas in the state. The assistance will be provided from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, as per an official statement.

Each registered vendor will get an amount of Rs 3,000 as assistance, sources said. Financial assistance was also announced for the vendors during the lockdown last year.

The livelihoods of the poor roadside vendors were severely affected due to the lockdowns, an official said. However, Odisha Utha Dokani Mahasangha president Pratap Sahu said that the package should be further extended because there are above 22 lakh roadside vendors across the state.

The government has identified only 87,657 of them, while the remaining vendors will continue to suffer, he said, urging the chief minister to extend the benefits. He also demanded that Rs 5,000 be given to each beneficiary.