Mumbai: The Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Covid Curfew and Micro Containment Strategies along with Covid Appropriate behaviour is an effective attempt to contain the spread of second wave of Covid infections. With significant scientific knowledge on the pandemic and with Vaccinations programme in place, India should also focus on protecting livelihoods along with lives in its fight against the pandemic.

This was supported by an overwhelming majority (75%) of 710 CEOs polled, indicating that they expect partial lockdown measures could impact the movement of labour as well as movement of goods which would affect industrial production significantly. About 60% of the CEOs polled said that their production could be affected if there are restrictions on movement of labour during these partial lockdowns.

Similarly, 56% of the CEOs expressed their concern over loss of production of upto 50% if there were restrictions on the ecosystem that supports movement of goods. The CEOs polled pertained to both manufacturing and services and 68% of the responding CEOs were from MSMEs.

Mr T V Narendran, President-designate, CII. said, “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.” 

While the Indian Industry is well prepared and equipped for implementation of stricter health and safety protocols as revealed by 96% of the CEOs polled, stringent implementation of safety norms was opined to be better than the option of partial lockdowns by 93% of the CEOs polled.

“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.

Looking at ways to mitigate the impact of the restrictions, several CEOs, about 67% of those polled expressed their desire to work with the Government for mass vaccination of eligible workforce who are 45 years and above. While 57% of the companies expressed the need to stock raw materials in excess of Just-in-time levels to meet any likely shortage of raw materials, 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 all health and safety protocols.

“The Government handled both lives and livelihoods effectively during the first wave. It could do so again by keeping industrial activities out of the ambit of partial lockdowns aimed at restricting social gatherings. This will help India recover from the economic contraction and stabilize the upward growth trends being currently witnessed in several sectors”, said Mr Narendran.

CII will be observing Tika Utsav which has been announced by Hon’ble PM from 11th -14th April across all States and Union Territories. CII has already activated its 65 State Offices and has written to over 9000 members from the Industry to facilitate the following activities in the coming 4 days with objective to accelerate vaccinations of the eligible workforce.

Wherever possible, Member companies and the Industry at large are being encouraged to consider enabling vaccinations of the eligible workforce at the workplace itself.

Over 1000 member companies/ employees will take to social media with a two pronged messaging – It is critical to be vaccinated if one is eligible and there is absolutely no cause for vaccine hesitancy. #Jaan hain to Jahaan Hai

Every responsible citizen must adhere to wearing masks, sanitising frequently and maintaining adequate social distance both pre and post vaccination.