Lockdown may slow virus but to deeply impact Maharashtra's economy: Report
Indian industry on Wednesday said imposition of stricter lockdown in Maharashtra will help slow the transmission of coronavirus but it will have a deep impact on the state's economy.
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced a 15-day statewide curfew from Wednesday amid the spike in coronavirus cases in the state. The curfew, which exempts essential services, will come into effect from 8 pm on Wednesday.
Industry has impressed upon the states that there must be no lockdown.
Industry body FICCI said it has interactions with the Maharashtra government and the chamber has shared inputs from its members both on policy and operational issues.
"We are certainly hopeful that this (restrictions) will help slow the transmission of the virus. However, the lockdown will have a deep impact on the state's economy and FICCI Maharashtra will engage deeply with the stakeholders in the government to minimise the impact and smoothen out the implementation related issues," Sulajja Firodia Motwani, chairperson of FICCI Maharashtra, said.
She said there are concerns on both supply and demand side. And, on the supply side, many companies operating in Maharashtra are selling their products all over the country and extended disruption in their operation will create a negative impact on their customers, she added.
The closure of retail would impact the demand side, she said expressing hope that the lockdown should not be extended beyond April 30.
Industry body Assocham also said it is working with the Maharashtra government to mitigate the economic impact of its 15-day curfew, and urged all states to reach out to the most vulnerable sections of the industry, particularly in the informal sectors, with the best possible relief.
"We would continue to remain engaged with the central and the Maharashtra governments, in our efforts to mitigate the economic impact of the 15-day Jantata Curfew in the state.
"We have also urged the federal and states to reach out to the most vulnerable sections of the industry, particularly in the informal sectors, with the best possible relief," Assocham said in a statement.
It added that it has approached all the states and the Centre to provide liberal regulatory and financial forbearances for compliances.
Fixed charges like electricity dues, lease rentals, licence fees and other levies should be waived, to help businesses maintain continuity, it suggested. Restaurants, hotels, small eateries should be given financial support for retaining the manpower, while the formal sectors of the economy should be engaged for regulatory forbearances, Assocham added.
B Thiagarajan, chairman (western region) of CII, said the industry is abiding by standard operating procedures to ensure a safe working place for its workforce and also to ensure containment of the spread.
"Right from the beginning of the pandemic, CII has been involved in regular consultative meetings with the state government officials and also authorities at the district and municipal corporation levels to ensure that industry can operate without any interruption," he said.
CII has been consistently making a strong point in favour of continuing industry operations smoothly while abiding by the procedures for the workplace. From time to time, it has urged the government that there should be no lockdown, he added. PTI RR HRS hrs