Less than 10% industries in Maharashtra operational after government opened up sectorUpdated: Jul 01, 2020 00:04 IST
Less than 10% of 7.34 lakh industrial units have resumed operations in Maharashtra after the state government opened up the sector from lockdown restrictions on April 20. The government had set a target of resumption of 60% of the industrial units, weeks after they were allowed to be operational.
Industry stakeholders said that economic slowdown, disruption in the supply chain, and lesser demand are the reasons for this low response.
After Maharashtra opened up the industrial sector, 63,891 of total 7.34 lakh industrial units that were functioning before the lockdown was announced in March, have resumed operations. Of them, 62, 490 (of 7.31 lakh) are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and 1,401 (of 2,625) are large scale industries. 15.57 lakh employees have reported back to work, though many units are running at only 40-50% of their total capacity.
As per data released by the industries department, of the 2.04 lakh industries operational before lockdown in Konkan division, 30,843 units have restarted production. In Pune, 13,458 of 3,55,255 units, 14,148 of 56,358 units in Nashik, and 5,442 of 1,06,952 units in Aurangabad have been operational till Monday.
“It is true that we did not get the expected response, naturally because we are going through very challenging times. We have stricter restrictions in 19 municipal corporations that are in red zones. Entry of employees to these zones or from them is restricted. Industries are facing a phasing problem of the supply of raw material or some of the components that are supplied from restricted areas. We were expecting more relaxations in the near future, but the surge in cases in some parts may see their deferment,” said industries minister Subhash Desai.
An official from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) said that though the percentage of industries becoming operational is less in the organised sector, it is more than 50% in the unorganised sector among small and micro industries.
Aurangabad-based industrialist Ram Bhogale said, “The units have been running at 40-50%of the workforce and much lesser production than their capacity. But we have been able to recover at least half of the recurring cost, though profit is out of the question in such a situation. The industries are facing many challenges; one of them is a disruption in raw material supply. Some industrial areas that are in the vicinity of containment zones are not allowed to open, but many industries in areas like Walunj are operational.”
Industrialists say that the reverse migration of migrants has so far not affected industries as they are not running at full capacity. They also pointed out that the economic slowdown has resulted in low demand for their products.
“Industries are also finding it difficult to comply with the government conditions like making arrangements for transportation and stay for employees. We also fear that with the rising number of cases, the situation in the industrial sector may take some more time to normalise,” said Santosh Mandlecha, president, Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture.