By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 28 Apr: Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday participated as the Chief Guest in the North India Virtual Conference on Reviving Growth in Challenging Times with the theme ‘Strategising Businesses and Innovative Policy Reforms’ over a virtual platform organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Satish Mahana, Minister of Industrial Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, was the Guest of Honour.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM observed that the Indian as well as global economy had been affected by the Corona pandemic.
He disclosed that 1,171 industrial units had been allowed to resume operations from 20 April as part of the plan towards normalising economic activity post the lockdown. He reminded that during the period of lock down, units producing essential commodities had been exempted in order to ensure availability of essential commodities. Not only this, 1884 pharmaceutical units had also been permitted to continue production.
Rawat further briefed the conference that a single window system had been put in place to grant permissions for the convenience of industry. He added that big industrial companies like ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Nestle, Britannia and Dabur had already started production, while automobile giants like Tata Motors, Hero Motocorp, Ashoka Leyland and Mahindra were set to resume operations at their factories in the state. He reminded that the government had set up a committee headed by retired IAS officer Indu Kumar Pandey to study the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s economy and recommend measures to strengthen it.
He also briefed the virtual conference that the last date for payment of lease or rent in State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (SIDCUL) Industrial Area had been extended from 30 April to 30 June in view of the lockdown. Similarly, the last date for payment of water and sewer bills has also been extended till 31 May. The CM added that the government had also exempted late surcharge payment for the commercial category of power consumers in the state in case of delayed payment, and had directed that there would be no disconnection of electricity connections in case of non-payment during the lockdown period. The state had also started the mechanism of granting online permissions for resuming industrial production.
The Chief Minister added that the state had been under lockdown since 22 March and that the state’s residents as well as the entrepreneurs had voluntarily cooperated in ensuring its complete effectiveness. So far, there had been 51 Corona positive cases in the state and, of them, 33 had fully recovered. It was a matter of great relief that the hill districts were free of the Corona pandemic so far.
He praised the efforts of CII in helping the government in overcoming the economic crisis resulting due to the lockdown. He noted that the CII had been in constant touch with the state government and that the representatives of the industrial world had made significant donations to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Principal Secretary, Industries Manisha Panwar and Director, Industries, Sudhir Nautiyal were also present on the occasion.
In his interaction, the CM also pointed out there had been some issues with regard to labour, as many had gone back to their villages.
He expressed the hope that the industrial zones of Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar would soon be in the Green Zone and industrial activity would pick up pace. All construction activities related to NHAI, MNREGA had already began while private construction would soon be allowed.
As RBI had issued a financial package for the industry through Banks, there would be discussions with industry representatives and government to discuss the necessary coordination.
UP Minister Satish Mahana, said, “The Prime Minister has taken proactive measures due to which we are ahead in containment of Covid 19 and not in a panic situation.”
As the current lockdown is expected to end on 4 May, the new guidelines from MHA are expected to further ease the situation.
Sunil Kant Munjal, Past President, CII, said, “The pandemic has created a unique challenge, which is complex and unpredictable. It is not expected that we have ready measures to fight but we are ready to work with the Government to find solutions, both short term and long term.”
Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman, CII Northern Region, said, at the present moment, the balance has to be struck between imperatives of preserving health, economy and society. Naturally, the overriding consideration has to be that of health of the population, which should be followed by the economic requirements, such that the impact on social conditions is not of negative nature. CII has always tried to complement the government in its nation-building exercise. Abhimanyu Munjal, Deputy Chairman, CII Northern Region, added the Indian government had responded well. The Rs 1.7 lakh crore corona package, as also the RBI intervention, were welcome steps. However, the situation demands more such stimulus.
The conference was also joined by speakers from across the globe. Those who spoke included Margot James, Executive Chair, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), and
Jayden Yang, Chief Executive Officer, Shanghai Shemar Power Engineering Co Ltd.