On Friday, a team of senior bureaucrats deliberated on various measures that could be taken to help the formal and informal industrial sector to recover from the losses.
As the number of active coronavirus cases rose to 53, Thackeray on Friday announced closure of a majority of shops and offices in Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur. During the meeting on Friday, sources said the industries and labour departments were asked to assess the losses sustained by the small and medium scale industries in particular. The impact of the lockdown measures on human resource in these industries will also be studied, officials said.
“We have sought feedback from the industries to assess the impact of the various containment measures imposed to combat the coronavirus scare. We will study the losses and the impact on manpower. The data collation exercise may take two or three more days,” said Maharashtra’s Development Commissioner (Industries) Dr Harshadeep Kamble.
With reports that daily wage labourers have also been affected due to the disruption in businesses, sources said the government is discussing the option of extending a tax holiday for the first quarter of 2020-21 for small and medium scale enterprises impacted by the lockdown. The possibility of paying up for the interest of capital loans availed by such industries was also discussed. For roadside businesses, a proposal of waiving off licence fee for the period of disruption is being considered. While officials admitted that the concessions will put a strain on the already burdened public exchequer, they argued that they seemed essential to help the industrial sector recover from the losses. On Friday, a Nanded-based wholesale dealer of flowers, who supplies flowers to leading temples in Maharashtra and Telangana, said that he has received no orders for the past three days with all shrines closed till March 31.
With streetside eateries and hawking units in Mumbai’s Churchgate shut since Thursday, Govind Singh, 54, a roadside fruit vendor, said, “Our business was already hit with offices encouraging staff to work from home. Ab bandh hi kar diya. Na jaane kitna waqt band rahega (They have now shut us down. One wonders how long this will go on).
Here’s a quick coronavirus guide for you to stay updated: Who all should be tested for Covid-19 and when? | How should you quarantine yourself? | How often (and how) should you clean your home? | What is the Janata Curfew announced by PM Modi? | Who are restricted from coming to India, and from when? | How long can the virus live on surfaces or in air around you? | Still more Coronavirus Q&A Explained news here
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines