Ahead of the mango harvest in the next 15 days, the Tamil Nadu government has waived cold storage fee for fruits and vegetables till April 30. This is one of the initiatives announced by the State government to address the concerns of the farmers who are having trouble due to the lockdown following Covid-19 pandemic.

The State government has launched district-wise helplines to assist farmers sell their produce and sort issues like transport, vehicle passes and storage, announced Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Nearly 500 mobile outlets to sell fruits and vegetables will be introduced across Tamil Nadu, he added.

The Chief Minister announced a loan of ₹10 lakh would be given to those agencies that procure fruits and vegetables directly from farmers by giving them fair price for the produce.

More infected

Meanwhile, 69 new Covid-19 positive cases — 63 had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event held in Delhi last month — have been reported today in Tamil Nadu as against 50 on Monday. This takes the total number of cases in the State to 690, said Health Secretary Beela Rajesh. Today, one Covid-19 patient died, taking the total number of deaths due to the virus to seven. However, so far, 19 infected persons have recovered, she said.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Industry Department has allowed sectors like steel, refineries, cement, textiles (excluding garment), sugar mills, foundries, paper, common effluent, glass, tanneries and tyre to be included in the list of continuous process industries operations.

The State government permits the process/activities of these industries with skeletal staff for essential maintenance of all closed industrial units and packaging and labelling of finished or manufactured goods to facilitate their transportation for export, says an order from the Industries department.