Citing rapidly rising losses due to the novel coronavirus lockdown, exporters on April 29 asked the Centre to let the industry reopen even in the ‘red zones’ — areas considered high-risk.
According to a report in the Business Standard, major export promotion councils (EPCs), in a meeting with Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, pushed for industrial units and office facilities to reopen across urban areas such as Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, Kanpur, Agra and Varanasi, among others. Many of these areas continue to be major hotpots.
"While factories in rural districts where the coronavirus is less prevalent can now open, it is not possible to keep business running, since the red zones often have the most important units or corporate offices. These are where records, documents, server systems and distribution points are based. It is impossible for an organization to operate with its key parts missing," the newspaper quoted a senior functionary of an EPC as saying.
Another functionary told the newspaper that EPCs had asked the government to allow partial relaxation of lockdown measures “with whatever conditions they can — reduced staff, fixed working hours, more sanitation norms.”
Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the novel coronavirus pandemic
Exporters also reportedly pointed out that some states such as Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had not allowed the industry to reopen even in ‘green zones’ and that others were yet to issue standard operating procedures.
Also Read | Incentives can be given to exporters, but they have to be justified, WTO compliant: Piyush Goyal
Union Minister Goyal, during the interaction, called upon exporters to identify their strengths, potentials and competitive advantages in specific sectors, and focus on harnessing them in the world markets.
Goyal said that incentives can be given to exporters, but they have to be justified, reasonable and compliant with global trade rules.
In the post-COVID-19 era, Goyal said, there is going to be perceptible change in the global supply-chains, and Indian industrialists and exporters should be looking to capture significant share in the world trade.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic