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Centre holds parleys with industry bodies over COVID-19 lockdown

Centre holds parleys with industry bodies over COVID-19 lockdown

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 April 2020 6:23 AM GMT

New Delhi: On completion of 30 days of continuous nationwide lockdown, the government on Thursday contacted industry associations to facilitate permits for industrial functioning in order to boost economic activities.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Department of Promotion Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra held a video conference with the industry associations to discuss the issue.

They reportedly discussed facilitating permitted industrial activities and boosting economic activities across the country amid the lockdown imposed to break the transmission of novel coronavirus.

Sources said the government has been considering providing relaxation to some more industries to restart economic activities. The move comes a week after the industry department asked the Home Ministry to allow more industries to operate with reasonable safeguards after the lockdown was extended till May 3.

However, two days ahead of the ending of the first phase of 21-day lockdown on April 14, the Home Ministry permitted over 15 industries to start work with minimum manpower and by maintaining social distancing norms on a single shift basis.

Now, the government wants to exempt a few more industries during the ongoing 19-day second phase of lockdown which is considered crucial in terms of economic activities.

The Home Ministry on April 12 gave relaxation to industries involved in manufacturing of heavy electrical items like transformers and circuit vehicles, telecom equipment and components including optic fiber cable, compressor and condenser units, steel and ferrous alloy mills, spinning and ginning mills, power looms, and defence and defence ancillary units. They were allowed to function in one shift.

Cement plants, however, were allowed to run in three shifts as cement production is a continuous process. Pulp and paper units were allowed to resume their production in clusters where Covid-19 cases were low, based on the data provided by the state authorities. (IANS)

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