Coronavirus Maharashtra: Industrialists wait for the green signal from the government

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Alakesh Roy, Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council and MD of Zamil Steel Building India Private Limited, said that the way the government has allowed the opening of the agriculture sector, they must also allow opening up of industries.

PUNE: Though the ongoing lockdown in Maharashtra to contain the spread of coronavirus is posing series of economic challenges to the industry; many industrialists are eyeing for a green signal from the government to start the industry to control the long term economic effects of the pandemic.

Talking about the way ahead to tackle the situation, Alakesh Roy, Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council and MD of Zamil Steel Building India Private Limited, said that the way the government has allowed the opening of the agriculture sector, they must also allow opening up of industries.

"We must understand that there is a whole chain of direct and indirect employees whose livelihoods are dependent on the industries," said Alakesh Roy.

About the expectations from the government, Alakesh added, "By now the government should be in a position to identify the hotspots and isolate the same so that industries in other areas can start. This is my personal opinion, and the government can take a better call on the same."

He also said that it would not be possible to start the industry partially. "The production and consumption go hand-in-hand, and so the industries should be started fully-fledged. If the industry can take care of restricting mass gathering, then we are good to start," Alakesh concluded.

Sandeep Belsare, President of Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association, said that starting the industry is possible if challenges associated with it are addressed. 

"The current challenge lies in mass screening of employees. How can we check if an employee is not a COVID-19 patient? Similarly, do we have adequate infrastructure to address the pandemic? If large industries start operating we also will have to start operating on our own risk," Sandeep said.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray gave a hint of hope when he addressed the State on Tuesday. He said, "In the wake of coronavirus and keeping economy aspect in mind, we have formed two groups to deal with the economy of the state, one team will be led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and another by prominent scientist Dr Raghunath Mashelkar and other eminent economists who will suggest how we can avoid an economic crisis."

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