Cold storage operators want revival package to get through the crisis
Most of the sectors are reeling under the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown to curtail its spread. Cold chain has been the frontrunners in supplying the nation with food items, pharmaceutical products among other essentials goods. Nonetheless, cold storages are also facing challenges such as cash crunch due to this significant disruption.
Cold storage operators have once again urged the State Government to provide a revival package as the sector is reeling under acute financial crisis due to Covid-19 lockdown. While cash inflow has dried up, lack of capacity utilisation of the cold storages has further compounded the problems of the operators. All the cold storages in the State are running below capacity though farmers are finding it difficult to preserve and sell their produce. This is largely because of lack of awareness among farmers and institutional support.
Drawing attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to their problems, Odisha Cold Storage Association in a memorandum requested him to provide relief package for revival of cold stores after the lockdown. “Covid-19 has been the biggest challenge for cold storages as cash inflow has come to a grinding halt. The operators will be left with huge overdrawn accounts which will diminish the chance of revival,” the memorandum said.
The association requested the Chief Minister to ensure working capital support, cost reduction of cold storages by encouraging farmers to store their produce, linking farmers to cold storage and power tariff rationalisation among other things. Read more