The central government was likely to resume a part of the manufacturing sector after 15th April in order to compensate the losses incurred due to the coronavirus lockdown. This was informed by two government sources to the media. Resuming some manufacturing units might be executed even if the lockdown gets extended.
The lockdown that started the last week of March completed its 21 days on 15th April. On 15th, PM Narendra Modi further announced a second phase of lockdown until May 3. Only during the announcements of the second phase of lockdown was the partial resumption of manufacturing sector was directed.
State governments of West Bengal, Telangana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh among few others had already decided to extend the lockdown until the end of April which is most likely to get extended until 3rd May.
However, on Monday majority of the industrial areas continued to be in lockdown mode. Apart from Daund MIDC, which is already operational due to pharmaceutical companies it hosts. No other industries could operate, such as in the MIDC belts at Chakan, Talegaon and Ranjangaon.
One such employee from Chakan, who works at an automobile company, shared, “I came to my home in Solapur due to a medical emergency, after which the lockdown was announced. Now, I am stuck here. Many peers from my company also stay outside Pune or are residents of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. So, we chose to continue working from home.”
The government sources also expressed that ministers from other sectors are also planning on partial resumption of manufacturing and other business activities. The country is facing huge capital losses owing to the coronavirus shockwave that has devastated the world.
Because of the lockdown, a percentage of the Indian population who are mostly daily wage labourers are facing grave economic crisis. Labourers from Delhi started walking towards their hometowns which are 150-200 kms away because they could not find any more work in the city as well as transportation that could take them home.
Some of them died walking as couldn’t find shelter on the way and expired while crying for help. With diverse population of the country where people from every strata of the society reside with varied economic barriers in life, it has become hard to maintain economic equilibrium with so many people out of work.
The resumption of manufacturing and construction activities will not only serve to compensate the losses that have already been incurred, but also will help uphold the poverty stricken labourer class of the country by providing them a fair chance of survival.
Pradeep Bhargava, President, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) explained, “Multiple conditions have been laid down. An industry player in the food processing sector, for instance, applied for permission, but was told that this service does not fall in the essential category.
So, he was denied a nod. Two conditions that have come forth from the discussion as of now are that they want reopening industries to fall under the essential category, and that arrangements for stay of employees need to be made on the premises — no employee can go back home. Considering this, not many will be able to start operations.”