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News18 » India
2-min read

Urgent Measures Needed for Revival of Aviation, Agriculture Sectors, Says IAS Couple on Coronavirus

Usha Padhee and Dr Arabinda K Padhee share their views on urgent measures needed for revival of agriculture and civil aviation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rupashree Nanda | CNN-News18

Updated:March 27, 2020, 1:22 PM IST
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Urgent Measures Needed for Revival of Aviation, Agriculture Sectors, Says IAS Couple on Coronavirus
IAS officers Usha Padhee and Dr Arabinda K Padhee (Image: CNN-News18)

New Delhi: As India is under lockdown for 21 days to curb the further spread of deadly coronavirus, the economic growth of the country is facing the brunt as the agricultural, aviation and others sectors have slowed down or halted their businesses for the time being. 1996 batch Odisha cadre IAS couple Usha Padhee and Dr Arabinda K Padhee have shared their views on urgent measures needed for revival of agriculture and civil aviation.

Usha Padhee, who is currently serving as a Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, while her husband Dr Arabinda K Padhee serving as Director, Country Relations and Business Affairs, ICRISAT, spoke to CNN-News18 on their life and work in the times of nationwide lockdown. Here are the excerpts from the interview:

As it is day 2 of 21-day lockdown, how are you spending your time at home?

Arabinda Padhee: Both of us are at home, wholeheartedly supporting the government guidelines on lockdown and taking all precautionary measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus. Doing office job is obviously the first priority. But, working from home is also giving us opportunities to be together, talking to loved ones and pursuing other hobbies such as reading; gardening, cooking, etc.

What are the challenges you face when it comes to work from home? And how do you address the same?

Arabinda Padhee: One may not have access to all logistical support, but at this crisis period, we are managing with the available facilities. No complaints!

What are the revival measures for agriculture sector as there have been demands that procurement time must be increased?

Arabinda Padhee: Agriculture operations might get hit to some extent. But, both central and state governments are already taking proactive measures. In my view, an advance payment (online) under PM-KISAN; staggering the procurement of wheat and other crops (paddy included) and ensuring supply chain of vegetables and fruits by taking safety and precautionary measures would be a help. Ensuring smooth Agricultural credit for next Kharif should also be a priority.

Two priorities - saving lives and saving livelihood - what more can the government do to ensure this?

Arabinda Padhee: Saving lives obviously should be the top most priority. Taking care of the livelihood of disadvantaged and vulnerable sections could be taken care of by specific packages suiting to the context. Making essential commodities available at the doorsteps of poor and needy should also be a priority.

Challenges are there for aviation sector as well, so, what urgent steps would you suggest for revival?

Usha Padhee: Due of the ban on domestic and international air travels, the aviation sector obviously is facing a tremendous challenge. Evacuation of stranded people, essential cargo operations, etc. are our top priorities at this hour. On revival of the sector, the government would take appropriate actions. I take this opportunity to gratefully acknowledge the tireless efforts of staff and colleagues in the airports and airlines for their selfless support at these critical times.

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