Several Industrial Associations of Gurgaon Tuesday met the Deputy Commissioner and submitted a memorandum expressing inability to pay wages to their workers for April. They also sought government help.
The representatives also expressed concerns regarding MHA guidelines to open industries during lockdown, saying these make it impossible for most, especially small and medium enterprises, to resume work.
The letter, signed by 14 associations, states that even prior to the lockdown, industries were facing “recession”. Despite the three-week lockdown initially imposed, however, they had disbursed full salary for March “to all workers, following the instructions of the government”.
“… until the industry is able to raise the required revenue, the salaries and wages of the employees…for the lockdown period may be funded from ESI Corporation, Provident Fund Organisation, Labour Welfare Fund or by economic package to the Industry,” states the memorandum.
“As per ESI law, the corporation has to pay 70% wages of an employee if he takes sick leave. The lockdown is equal to sickness. The government can invoke this clause… There is also money in the state’s Labour Welfare Fund,” said Manmohan Gaind, VP, Manesar Industries Welfare Association.
In Gurgaon, association heads said “80-90%” establishments have chosen to not apply for permission to run business. “There are too many conditions… Just setting up a system that will meet all these conditions will take a week or 10 days, so most people have decided to just wait it out,” said Deepak Maini, chairman of the Industrial Development Association, Gurgaon.
Maini said the fear of penal action too has become a cause for hesitation amongst most.
While a spokesperson of the district administration said the demands of the associations will be forwarded to Chandigarh, ACS V S Kundu, the monitoring officer appointed for COVID-19, attempted to assuage their concerns. “There is no need for panic. Action will be taken only if an industry endangers someone’s life knowingly or due to gross negligence,” said Kundu.
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