Friday, April 24, 2020

Pune companies resume work again


PUNE: About 1,500 companies in Pune division have resumed operations following the state government’s decision to partially lift the lockdown and allow resumption of business and industrial activity in areas where there are zero cases of coronavirus, or the numbers are not rising.

The Pune division comprising five districts ― Pune, Satara, Solapur, Sangli and Kolhapur ― and is home to some major industries and business houses. Prashant Girbane, Director-General, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), said, “We are told that approximately 1,500 companies of different shapes and sizes are working in Pune Division. Half of those are in Pune district. These are either ‘essential’ manufacturing or services or units in zones like Jejuri, Kurkumbh, Bhigwan, Indapur in Pune District.”

He added that the number of employees with passes to work is less than 5 per cent of the pre-Covid-19 times. Girbane said that the State should go for more tracing and testing and at the same time the Centre should release the stimulus package for MSMEs well before the MSMEs deal with monthly salaries and wages next week. He insisted on better coordination between government officials and industries.

“There should be daily updates through a Webinar/VC call over web. MCCIA hosted one or two such calls and is willing to host it daily so that there should be no confusion. Senior government officers like the Divisional Commissioner, Collector, Commissioner and Industry Officials like Joint Director and Regional Officers of MIDC should also join one brief daily call,” he said.

Last week, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced that the industrial units in the orange and green zones will operate but the workers will not be allowed to leave the premises. The raw material for industrial production and grain supplies for the workers would be provided at the site. Businessmen are being informed that they can commence production if they are willing to take care of their workers. However, no permission has been granted for inter-district travel until May 3.


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