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In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, no clarity on which units allowed to operate, say industry stakeholders

The PMC and PCMC had said the order issued by the industries department regarding closure of certain industrial units would remain in force in the two jurisdictions.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: April 16, 2021 12:48:07 am
An industrial unit remains closed in Pune

A day after the PMC and PCMC issued revised guidelines on Covid restrictions, local industrial units have slammed the move, saying there was no clarity in the order which has caused confusion as to which units were allowed to remain open

In their order, the civic bodies have said that the order issued by the state Industries department regarding closure of certain industrial units will remain in force in their respective jurisdictions.

In its directives issued on April 14, the Directorate of Industries said, “Now, under the ‘break the chain’ initiative of the government of Mahararashtra, essential services, export-oriented units and continuous process manufacturing units, other than net consumers of oxygen, unless producing items needed for essential services as mentioned,will be allowed to operate their units during the period of April 14 to May 1…”.

Sandeep Belsare, president of Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association, said, “The government has allowed essential industries based on food, pharma, medicine, exported-oriented units, continuous process to continue their operations. Actually most of the industries are connected with these essential services. They deal either with one or the other essential services. This has caused confusion among the industrial units. They are not able to understand whether they should remain open or shut.”

Belsare said there are thousands of small and micro industries which supply parts to big industrial units which deal in exports. “Though these small and micro units do not directly export goods, they indirectly take part in export of the goods. So should they remain open or shut? The industries department should clarify these points,” he said.

Abhay Bhor, president of the Forum for Small Industries Association, said, “We do not understand the logic behind keeping some industrial units closed and some open. On one hand, the government is saying each employee should carry a Covid- negative test report, on the other it is not allowing industries to operate with those who test negative. Why can’t they keep all industrial units open…”.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Industries Minister Subash Desai said, “In the next 15 days, Covid cases are expected to surge rapidly. This will put immense pressure on the system vis-a-vis availability of oxygen and ventilators. The government has therefore imposed a lockdown to break the chain of infection. The industrial world should adhere to Covid norms and help contain the spread of the virus.”

Sadashiv Survase, joint director of the Industries Department, told The Indian Express, “There is no confusion in the order issued by the department. In the order, it has been clearly mentioned that industries which deal in essential services, export-oriented units, continuous process units will remain open while rest of the units will remain shut.”

Survase said as many as 60,000 small, medium and large industries will remain shut in Pune. “In all, there are 1.25 lakh MSMEs and around 700 large industries. Of these, 60 per cent will remain shut,” he said.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil said, “We have not issued a separate order as the Industries department has done that…We will closely monitor the operations of industries. As per the government order, industries dealing in essential services and export-oriented units have been allowed.”

Meanwhile, Survase also met representatives of Deccan Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture on Thursday to clarify the government order.

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