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CII requests Kerala govt to drop move for fresh lockdown

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 24, 2020 Published on July 24, 2020

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan   -  S. Gopakumar

‘Not an ideal option to prevent spread of pandemic’

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has advised the Kerala government against implementing another lockdown in the State since the earlier 90-day lockdown had severely affected livelihoods.

Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman, CII Kerala State Council, expressed the fear that that compulsory closure of businesses will lead to loss of employment and business, since 95 per cent of the business in Kerala falls under the MSME category.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, he said that all business activities should be allowed with proper safety protocols. Movement of men and materials for business activity need not be hindered under any circumstances. A lockdown should not be considered as an option to prevent spread of the pandemic, he added.

Demarcate containment zones

The government could demarcate containment zones and buildings and isolate them from the rest instead of imposing lockdown for the entire city, Thomas John Muthoot said. There should not be any stoppage of economic activity, especially in the MSME sector, small retail stores, restaurants, and hotels. Services such as take-away and delivery of food should co-exist with business in the construction, finance, and health sectors. However, guidelines should be in place and violators punished.

Enforcement of safety protocols should shift from the government to the public for effectively addressing the pandemic.

Engaging inbound expats

“To provide more opportunity for the inbound migrants and expatriates returning from, we need to create more business opportunities. Hence, we need to shelve the Minimum Wages act for the time being in order to enable more employment. All labour officers can become business facilitators and employment exchange professionals,” Thomas John Muthoot said.

The government has permitted the private laboratories to do the Covid-19 testing. This could potentially be used to ease the load on the government machinery. Expatriates should be allowed to test at any approved laboratory during the first quarantine period of 14 days. The quarantine can be institutional or a paid one organised by the individual concerned.

The communication to the Chief Minister also contained a draft Standard Operating Protocol prepared by the CII for circulating among Industry members.

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Published on July 24, 2020
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