Image: Northeast Now

Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the ongoing COVID-19 situation and deliberate on the roadmap ahead.

On the occasion, the chief minister formally announced the constitution of the ‘Economic Revival Committee’.

The committee has been led by Martam-Rumtek MLA, Sonam Tshering Venchungpa as the chairman and has financial and economic advisor to the Government of Sikkim, C L Denzongpa, chief economic advisor to the Government of Sikkim, Dr Mahendra P Lama and district collector (West District) Karma R Bonpo as member and additional chief secretary, Finance Department-cum-development commissioner, VB Pathak as member secretary.

The chief minister lauded the effort of the state administration, COVID-19 frontline workers and the people of the State for their relentless effort to tackle the crisis situation.

He stated that the call of the Prime Minister of a self-reliant India offers an opportunity to the State to realize its true potential.

He said the time has come for the youth of Sikkim to embrace skilled work and make the most of the available opportunities.

He said the youth of the State have the innate ability to accomplish any task, and fill the vacuum created by the exodus of skilled workers to their respective States.

The chief minister mentioned that the good news that the State Viral Laboratory is on the verge of completion and the RTPCR machine is reaching the State on Thursday by a special Indian Airforce Flight.

He suggested some relaxation measures that could to be adopted to help revive the economy gradually.

He announced that restaurants and fast food outlets will be allowed to operate with reasonable restrictions, all shops to remain open from 8 am to 5pm, inter-district movement of vehicles to be eased and offices to operate with 30 per cent manpower.

He stated that the State Government was working out a mechanism to grant relief package to drivers and other affected category of people.

In the meeting, chief secretary S C Gupta presented an overview of the COVID-19 situation in the State till date.

He highlighted the steps taken by the State to facilitate the return of Sikkimese people stranded in different parts of the country.

He also shared about the steps taken by the State Government to ensure safe evacuation of migrant workers stranded in Sikkim to their respective home states.

He presented the statistics of the number of people willing to return to the State, and the people who have chosen to leave Sikkim for their home states.

Sagar Chhetri

Sagar Chhetri is Northeast Now Correspondent in Gangtok. He can be reached at: sagchhetri@gmail.com