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CM tells factory owners to pay April wages, refuses to open borders

PUBLISHED ON MAY 10, 2020 11:23 PM IST

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday, in a video conference with people running city-based micro small and medium enterprises (MSME), asked them to pay workers’ wages for the lockdown period. The owners said they were disappointed by the direction as the chief minister also failed to allow inter-state movement.

“Consider workers as your family members and you pay them the wages of the lockdown period as per the standing order of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) of the Union government,” said Khattar.

He said the government on April 29 had announced an interest subsidy scheme, considering financial stress on industries, for the MSME to catalyse their revival. As per the scheme, Khattar reiterated, the Haryana government will pay the interest at 8 per cent a year for six months on the loan amount taken by the MSME from the banks, equivalent to 20,000/employee.

The scheme, however, failed to satisfy those involved in MSMEs.

Khattar also rejected a proposal to allow inter-state movement, especially to Delhi, after some industry owners raised the issue. “The government will continue to restrict the inter-state movement of people and will issue weekly inter-state movement passes for entrepreneurs staying outside the state (Haryana) so that they can come to Haryana, stay here to do work and go back home for the weekend,” said Khattar.

“We raised the two issues — interstate movement and wages — with the CM, drawing his attention to the fact that the Gurugram industry owners are badly hit by these two problems. We requested the CM to allow inter-state movement passes and de-seal borers with Delhi. However, this issue has landed in court and we would like to be a part of the discussion as well, as, despite resumption of factories, border sealing has hit the business,” said JN Mangla, president, Gurgaon Industrial Association, one of the two representatives who attended the meeting.

The labour department had sent a notice to industry owners on Thursday, to pay wages to workers by Monday.

Pawan Yadav, president of IMT industrial association, who also attended the meet, said, “We do not want a rift between workers and owners, but we want the government to consider our financial constraints and help us accordingly. The government announced an interest subsidy for six months but that is not adequate to help us. We want government help in extending our loan tenure, at least by two years, such as from five to seven, seven to nine and likewise, as this will reduce the financial burden of every industry owner. We have brought this to the CM’s notice.”

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