NEW DELHI: India will allow makers of information technology hardware, farmers and industries in rural areas to resume operations after April 21 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi crafts a plan to exit the world’s largest lockdown and revive stalled economic activity.
. cms “styleobj=” [object Object] “> Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates
Amid a three-week lockdown that’s been extended to May 3, the government will also lift restrictions to allow e-commerce companies, goods movement by roads, as well as restart port and air cargo operations, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.
“To mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities have been allowed,” the ministry said, noting that states were responsible for ensuring that all safety and social distancing protocols were in place. The exemptions won’t be applied to the dozens of virus containment zones, according to the order.
Industries operating in rural areas, including food processing, units of mines and mineral production, packaging material, oil and gas exploration and refineries, will be allowed to operate, while road construction, irrigation projects, construction work and all kinds of projects in industrial estates will be operational. Agriculture and its related activities to remain fully functional, the order said.
Partial lifting of lockdown:
(Factories in industrial zones can start operations
- Companies to provide dormitories for workers in or near factory premises
- Jute and packaging material units allowed
- Coal production and transportation permitted
- Weak growth
The move seems to indicate the next three weeks of lockdown may not be as stringent , said Anubhuti Sahay, head of South Asia Economic Research at Standard Chartered Bank.
“With the government allowing some economic activity to restart, especially in labor-intensive sectors, there’s a likelihood that the economic hit may not be as bad, ”Sahay said by phone on Wednesday.
More on Covid –
Standard Chartered had estimated India’s GDP would be hit by 200 basis points after the lockdown was extended and had forecast a GDP growth of 0.7% in 2020 – . “This is the weakest we have seen India grow in more than three decades.”
In announcing the extension of the lockdown on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged the impact on the economy and said one of his top decided was to reduce the difficulties being faced by those who earn a daily wage, after the suddenly shutdown prompted tens of thousands of migrant workers to flee from cities to villages after they lost work, prompting fears of starvation.
Asia’s third-largest economy was on track to grow 5%, its weakest expansion in more than a decade in the fiscal year that ended in March. Now it’s looking at a further downturn.
India may be losing close to Rs , 06 crore ($ 5.2 billion) daily due to the lockdown with an estimated loss amounting to as much as Rs 8 lakh crore during the past days, Sangita Reddy, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement, adding close to 4 crore jobs are at risk during the April to September period.
The Times of India (News app) for Latest Business News
Start Your Daily Mornings with Times of India Newspaper! Order Now