Covid-19 lockdown: Start plan for 5 sectors
The government has sought inputs related to production, labour and logistics from clusters in five key sectors to ascertain expected output if they are made operational within a fortnight and procedural support required, sources said.
These five sectors are textiles, chemicals, electronics, steel and pharmaceutical.
The exercise may be viewed as a crucial move towards nursing the sectors back to health and resurrecting their production and supply capabilities amid the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.
The four-point questionnaire sent through an industry body may also provide critical inputs to the Centre for drawing up a blueprint, entailing a lockdown exit strategy for businesses to limp back to normalcy.
Apart from the expected output value if a cluster is made operational within 15 days, the Centre has sought responses regarding the procedural support required for facilitating its functioning in terms of raw material sourcing, labour movement, distribution, connectivity to gateways and handling of its cargo at gateways, the sources said.
The questionnaire routed via the industry body also seeks responses on whether the clusters’ labour resides or moves within a five km radius and if they can be operated with 70 per cent of the labour supply, amid large-scale migration of labour to their native places, which may impact manufacturing and production in the near future.
Among other issues, it also seeks to know if the cluster has a raw material dependence of more than 50 per cent on other districts or countries, apart from the preferred mode for raw material sourcing (road/rail/air) and markets for the cluster’s output.
The department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) has suggested that the home ministry allow limited activity in certain sectors such as heavy electricals and telecom equipment with reasonable safeguards.
In a letter to home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the department said these activities are essential to improve the economic situation and provide liquidity in the hands of the people.
“It is felt that certain more activities with reasonable safeguards should be allowed once a final decision regarding the extension and the nature of lockdown is taken by the central government,” it said.
Meanwhile, industry association CII on Sunday suggested a “slow and staggered” approach to reopening various sectors based on classification of geographies as red, amber and green, depending upon the incidence of Covid-19 cases.