The Government of Uttar Pradesh has rolled out a new Oxygen Production Promotion Policy 2021, which will not only take care of the paucity of medical and industrial oxygen, but also generate employment amidst the pandemic.
The state cabinet approved the policy on May 15, allowing private investors to invest in the production of medical supplies, on a six-month lease. Designed by the Infrastructure and Industrial Development Department, the policy will ensure that the high demand for medical oxygen is fulfilled. It will also witness private investment in liquid oxygen and medical oxygen plants, manufacture of oxygen concentrators and accessories, zeolite and cylinder manufacturing units, cryogenic tankers and container-manufacturing units.
The daily requirement of oxygen is apparently about 1,200 tonnes with thousands of patients needing oxygen support at home as well as in hospitals.
Given that the curfew has been extended till May 24, the state government is also offering a maintenance allowance of Rs1,000 for one month to the economically marginalised sections of the society, including small shopkeepers, daily-wage labourers, rickshaw/e-rickshaw pullers, barbers, washermen, cobblers, confectioners and so on, who have suffered a loss of income owing to the lockdown and mobility restrictions. This benefit will be available to about one crore people. Free ration will continue to be made available to household ration card holders.
Only last week, the Uttar Pradesh government had granted ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the families of rural development department employees who lost their lives to Covid-19 while in the active line of duty.