Madurai

‘Lockdown extension will hit industries hard’

The 'unilateral' decision of the State government to extend the lockdown by one more week beginning July 6 for Madurai has come in for severe criticism.

Attributing to the rise in the number of COVID-19 patients testing positive in Madurai, the Chief Secretary had through a G.O., directed to shut shops for another seven days ending July 12. When many cities, including Chennai, had more number of COVID-19 patients, the government had relaxed the lockdown norms there, why Madurai had been neglected, asked. B Muruganantham, president, Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA).

In a letter to K Gopal, Principal Secretary -Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), he said when the number of cases were at least 10 times higher in Chennai than Madurai, why the government extended the lockdown in Madurai alone. Considered the gateway of southern districts, if economic activities came to such a long halt, it would be a Herculean task to revive the same in a district like Madurai, where small and micro units were engaged in manufacturing rubber parts for auto sector and face masks, PPE sets for the health sector, etc.

Only when small and tiny units opened will committed work orders could be completed on time. On delivery of goods, the payments can be received and salaries and other expenditures met by the entrepreneurs. Mandatory obligations too had to be fulfilled by the industries such as filing GST and payment of taxes. Due to the extension of lockdown, the Central government's financial credit assistance (working capital) too could not be utilised by many of the industrial organisations. On the other hand, for the last one month, despite non-utilisation of the funds lying in the bank accounts, interest had to be paid, he said.

So the government should immediately withdraw the G.O. and pave way for opening up the industrial sector. The industries, irrespective of the sizes, adhered to the guidelines prescribed by the governments and the health authorities, Mr.Muruganantham added.

Former president of TANSTIA KR Gnanasambandan said when lorries transported raw materials and industrial goods from other States/districts to Madurai, the consignments remained in the lorry offices and could not be re-distributed to other cities in southern districts due to the lockdown.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 12:27:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/lockdown-extension-will-hit-industries-hard/article31995836.ece

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