Bhubaneswar: Odisha's BJP government in its first Cabinet meeting approved a proposal to re-open all four gates of Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri on early Thursday morning and set up a corpus fund for immediate requirement of the 12th-century shrine. This was stated by Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi after chairing a meeting with his ministers at the state secretariat Lok Seva Bhawan. 

"The state government decided to re-open all the four gates of the Puri Jagannath temple in early morning tomorrow in the presence of all ministers. Devotees will have access to the temple through all four gates," Majhi said.

Stating that opening all the temple gates was one of the promises of the BJP's election manifesto, the chief minister said that the devotees were facing problems due to closure of the gates. The previous BJD administration continued to keep the four gates of the temple closed since the COVID-19 pandemic. The devotees can enter through only one gate and there were demands that all gates be opened. For the sake of conservation and preservation of the temple, Majhi said the Cabinet decided to constitute a corpus fund of Rs 500 crore to look after the issues related to the shrine.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that all ministers will

leave for Puri on Wednesday night and stay in the pilgrim town so that they can be present when all four gates will be opened on Thursday morning. Majhi said that the state government will also take steps to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Rs 3100 per quintal and the department concerned has been asked to take measures in this regard.

A committee will be formed very soon for implementation of the proposal to increase the MSP for paddy to Rs 3100 per quintal, he said. This apart, a special policy "Samruddha Krushak Niti Yojana" will be framed to deal with the problems of farmers including the MSP to farmers. "The departments have been asked to prepare a proper guideline and roadmap in this regard and present it before the government.

"This will be done within a span of first 100 days of the government," the chief minister said. Majhi also claimed that efforts of the previous BJD regime for women empowerment and child welfare have failed. Therefore, the new government will implement the Subhdra Yojana within 100 days under which the women will get a Rs 50,000 cash voucher each. "The departments are told to prepare guidelines and roadmaps for the implementation of the Subhadra Yojana," the chief minister said.

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