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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

In Pune, MSMEs await clarity in new guidelines before cranking up industries

Data collected by the Directorate of Industries show that till date, 2,393 of the 3.6 lakh units in the state have started operating in five districts.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune | Updated: May 2, 2020 8:21:54 am
Construction workers from Madhya Pradesh look for transportation to leave the city. Express photo by Ashish Kale

Industry stakeholders and district authorities are waiting to read the fine print of the new notifications issued by the Union Home Ministry, before chalking out a plan to restart industries in Pune district.

According to authorities, the units located in ‘green zones’, or zones with no COVID-19 cases, which can manage to function with local labour will be allowed to operate.

Data collected by the Directorate of Industries show that till date, 2,393 of the 3.6 lakh units in the state have started operating in the five districts of Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur. These include 176 large units, while the rest are medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMES). The maximum number of units have restarted in Kolhapur, which has a low number of COVID-19 cases.

As per the press release issued by the Union Home Ministry on Friday evening, some activities have been allowed ro resume in green, orange and even red zones. Manufacturers of essential commodities and IT companies are allowed to function with 33 per cent staff strength and strict enforcement of social distancing norms. District and municipal authorities can demarcate an area into different zones, and allow economic activities to start in non-containment zones within these areas.

In the first stage, efforts are on to get companies located in rural areas like Ranjangaon and Chakan to resume operations, said an officer at the Directorate of Industries.

“The emphasis is on companies which can get labour from nearby areas, rather than workers travelling from Pune or Pimpri-Chinchwad,” said Sadashiv Survase, joint director of Industries, Pune Division. Industries that have facilities to provide accommodation to their workers are being encouraged to do so to prevent frequent travelling of labourers.

The MSME sector, however, is waiting for more clarity before it takes a call about restarting industrial units.

Sandeep Belsare, president of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association, said they need clarification from the state government and local authorities on whether the manufacturing and automobile sector can restart. “SMEs will not be able to function with just 33 per cent of their workforce, so we need some relaxation in that,” he said.

Similarly, Prashat Girbane, director-general of the Maharatta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture, said more clarity is necessary before a call is taken on restarting industrial units in the region.

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