Coronavirus | Prefer strict safety measures to partial lockdowns: India Inc

Cautioning that partial lockdown measures could impact the movement of labour and goods, leading to a decline of up to 50% in production, India Inc believes stringent implementation of safety norms is a better option than partial lockdowns, according to a survey by the CII.

The survey on the impact of partial lockdowns on industry, conducted among 710 CEOs and senior industry leaders from manufacturing and services sectors, comes at a time when several States are imposing restrictions such as night curfew and full lockdowns amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Three out of four respondents feel that the implementation of night curfew or a partial lockdown will impact movement of labourers and workers to factories and workplaces, respectively. Out of these respondents, a further majority (52%) foresee a fall in production/sales ranging between 10%-50%, on a monthly basis, due to the restricted movement of labour,” the CII said.

About 31% of the industry leaders said they would accommodate their labour force in the factory in case of movement restrictions due to night curfew.

T.V. Narendran, president-designate, CII, said, stringent enforcement measures to promote strict adherence to health and safety protocols are essential and any measures to restrict social gatherings should not be extended to regular functioning of industry and commerce.

He also pitched for extending the vaccination programme to all people above 18 years of age. “Protecting livelihoods along with lives is essential and industry is keen to work with the government on universal coverage [18 years and above] of vaccination programme and in implementing strict health and safety protocols.”

As per the survey, 57% of the companies expressed the need to stock raw materials in excess of just-in-time levels to meet any likely shortage of raw materials.

To minimise the losses due to the night curfew or partial lockdown, the respondents said the government needs to work across the spectrum, with 70% pitching for vaccination of all workers, followed by strong enforcement of sanitisation, mask and social distancing and allowing movement of workers and goods during the night curfew.

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