NEW DELHI :
The industry department has asked the home ministry to allow more industries to operate with reasonable safeguards even if the government decides to extend the nationwide lockdown.
In a letter to home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said that the relaxations are essential to boost economic activity and put money in the hands of the people. Mint has reviewed a copy of the letter sent on Saturday.
The lockdown, which is supposed to end on 14 April, is widely expected to be extended by at least two weeks with concessions to certain industries to restart economic activity.
DPIIT, which comes under the commerce and industry ministry, proposed that industries should be allowed to operate under the condition that they ensure a single entry point for workers, sufficient space for social distancing, use of separate transport for ferrying workers or stay arrangements within factory premises and high quality sanitization of premises.
“Free movement of all vehicles and manpower required for continuing the activities permitted so far under various MHA (ministry of home affairs) notifications needs to be allowed by all government authorities concerned with movement of man and material. We are facing a lot of problems on this and very clear reiteration of the MHA stand to allow free movement of vehicles and manpower in these sectors needs to be done," Mohapatra wrote.
“These are recommendations based on interactions with trade and industry. Let’s see what is finally decided," a government official said on condition of anonymity.
DPIIT wants companies in sectors such as textiles, automobiles and electronic manufacturing to be allowed to function with 20-25% capacity in single shift, after putting in place proper sanitation and distancing norms.
“Those companies/MSMEs with export commitments need to be allowed to operate with minimal manpower and necessary movement of material as a new entity. While granting passes, the concerned authorities may check details of the export commitments and allow accordingly," the letter said.
The industry department wants the housing and construction sectors also to be allowed if labourers stay at the sites with all facilities and safeguards with contractors ensuring safety, sanitation and distancing norms.