Lockdown 2.0 guidelines: Industry backs move, calls for reopening export sectors from 20 April

India Inc on Wednesday backed the government's move to allow industrial units located in rural areas to function from 20 April, and said it will ensure preventive measures for Covid-19 while restarting economic activities

Press Trust of India April 15, 2020 18:00:39 IST
Lockdown 2.0 guidelines: Industry backs move, calls for reopening export sectors from 20 April

New Delhi: India Inc on Wednesday backed the government's move to allow industrial units located in rural areas to function from 20 April, and said it will ensure preventive measures for COVID-19 while restarting economic activities.

However, the industry called for textiles, garments and automobiles sectors to be permitted to operate from 20 April to meet their export obligations and ensure free movement of goods.

"The phased manner of the exit from lockdown is welcome and provides a roadmap for economic restart after 3 May. The MHA guidelines are in line with CII suggestions on calibrated exit from lockdown as per spatial and sectoral considerations, while maintaining health and sanitation as well as social distancing protocols.

Lockdown 20 guidelines Industry backs move calls for reopening export sectors from 20 April

Representational image. Reuters.

"With this advance guidance, the industry would be able to better prepare for the restart of economic activities," said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

The chamber said it hopes that in the next phase, some of the key labour-intensive sectors would be permitted to operate in a calibrated manner with full hygiene and sanitation measures being followed.

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It said the existing export orders and opportunities should be met to retain India's export market share in the post-COVID period.

Hence, textiles and garments and automobiles ecosystem including components and maintenance services should be allowed to operate after 20 April to meet their export obligations and well as to ensure free movement of goods, CII stated.

"What is required now as a follow up is for those sectors that have not been allowed to open up to look at how we can sustain them in the lockdown period and post the lockdown period," FICCI Secretary General Dilip Chenoy said.

"If implemented well and in a responsible manner, the economic activities can be restored to the extent of 30-40 percent by our back-of-envelope calculations," Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood said.

"We request the government to allow Apparel Exporting units who export a minimum of 50 percent of their turnover to operate under these guidelines, as already allowed to SEZs and EOUs in Para 15 of the consolidated revised guidelines," Apparel Export Promotion Council Chairman A Sakthivel said.

Industrial units in rural areas will be allowed to function from 20 April provided they follow social distancing norms while all kinds of public transport will be barred and public places closed till 3 May, according to guidelines issued on Wednesday to enforce the second phase of the lockdown.

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