‘Unlock industries to activate wheels of the economy’

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

Even as a ten-day lockdown started in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal areas along with some rural parts, industries in the auto hub have warned that the sector will suffer heavily if the government resorts to repeated lockdowns.

The municipal corporation of Pimpri Chinchwad where the majority of auto industries are located had to revise the lockdown guideline following industry pressure. On Monday afternoon it issued a guideline giving work permits to all industrial units. The civic body also allowed identity attested by the company owner/promoter/HR head on company letterhead as a valid pass to facilitate employees to join the work. The Pune civic body has started a similar process.

Prashant Girbane, Director-General, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) said, “Don’t we eventually, need to lockdown the virus and unlock the economy? Industries must be allowed and facilitated to operate and only then the wheels of the economy will be activated. That is very much in the interest of ‘livelihoods’ of workers. It is also equally important for industries to be more careful in following social distancing norms ”.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Small and Medium Scale Industries Association has demanded that the government must exempt industry from lockdowns. Industrialists said that almost 60 per cent of industries in auto hub spread across Pune district have started operations even as they are still waiting for all labourers to come back.

Association President Sandeep Belsare told BusinessLine that the government must not create more problems for the industry. “After all the struggle for the last few months, the industries are slowly getting back on the track. But the ten-day lockdown has again created fear in the minds of migrant workers who have returned to work” he said.

Belsare added that the government must not lay down severe terms and conditions like asking industrialists to shoulder the expenses of treatment of Covid-19 infected workers in the units.

The Pune region, one of India’s largest auto hubs, houses Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Auto apart from international majors such as Volkswagen and Mercedes. All the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) stopped work during last few months having spiralling impact on over 12,000 MSMEs in the Pune region.

Pune MP Girish Bapat alleged that the State government had imposed lockdown without any consultation. He said that the government should have consulted all stakeholders before announcing the lockdown decision.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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