Andhra Pradesh

Pandemic: industry leaders seek protection of livelihoods along with lives

For representational purpose only.   | Photo Credit: AP

With significant scientific knowledge on the pandemic and with the vaccination programme in place, India should focus on protecting livelihoods along with lives in its fight against the pandemic, instead of going for partial lockdowns, said Solomon Pushparaj, Deputy Director and Head, Confederation of Indian Industry(CII), Visakhapatnam.

Referring to the CEOs poll on ‘Impact of lockdown on the industry’, conducted by the CII, he said that 710 CEOs from both manufacturing and services sectors, have responded to the poll questionnaire.

A vast majority (75%) of the respondents expressed the view that partial lockdown measures could impact the movement of labour as well as goods, which would significantly affect industrial production.

“Stringent enforcement measures, to promote strict adherence to health and safety protocols are essential and any measures to restrict social gatherings should not be extended to regular functioning of industry and commerce,” said T.V. Narendran, president-designate, CII.

While the Indian Industry is well prepared and equipped for implementation of stricter health and safety protocols, stringent implementation of safety norms would be better than the option of partial lockdowns.

“Protecting livelihoods along with lives is essential and industry is keen to work with the government on universal coverage (18 years and above) of vaccination programme and in implementing strict health and safety protocols,” said Mr. Narendran.

Mass vaccination

Several CEOs expressed their desire to work with the government for mass vaccination of eligible workforce, who are 45 years and above. They expressed the need to stock raw materials in excess of just-in-time levels to meet any likely shortage, about 31% of the industry leaders said that they would accommodate their labour force in the factory in case of movement restrictions due to night curfew.

More than 60% of the CEOs suggested that the government should allow movement of workers in all shifts during night curfews and also free movement of goods along with the required personnel to facilitate the movement of goods. This should be allowed with all workers and industry staff, strictly following health and safety protocols.

“This will help India recover from the economic contraction and stabilise the upward growth trends being currently witnessed in several sectors,” said Mr. Narendran.

Member companies and the industry at large are being encouraged to consider enabling vaccinations of the eligible workforce at the workplace itself. Awareness programmes are also being conducted to sensitise the workers on the safety protocols and COVID appropriate behaviour.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 6:15:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/pandemic-industry-leaders-seek-protection-of-livelihoods-along-with-lives/article34295943.ece

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