Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj questioned the extension of lockdown in some states such as Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
"Why Tamil Nadu is still closing down like this for 10 days? Why has Guwahati said they will close for 14 days? Why is West Bengal extending it till 31 July? What will happen on the first of August when you unlock?" Bajaj told the The Economic Times.
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The number of COVID-19 infections has seen a sharp increase after staggered lifting of restrictions began on June 1. The first phase of reopening the economy, or Unlock 1, ends after June 30.
"And to clarify, I am not saying that because of the lockdown the number of infections or deaths has increased. I am saying whatever was suppressed that time has come out just now. So take the average of both—it is probably going to be what it would have been if this kind of lockdown hadn't been implemented?" he said.
Bajaj also told the publication that companies cannot survive by halting their operations and paying their employees for staying at home for a prolonged period.
"So if you want to be absolutely safe and you want to sit at home till the vaccine comes, you are welcome to sit at home. But please understand that if we sit at home for one to two years, there is no company in the world which can continue to pay your wages. We will have to implement no work no pay," Bajaj said.
At Bajaj Auto's Waluj plant near Aurangabad, 140 employees tested positive for COVID-19 and two died, according to media reports.
Bajaj said the company had implemented the required precautions and safety measures, and communicated clearly with its staff.
"There is absolutely no such fear, anxiety, etc among our people. Masses with an open mind understand the facts and figures and are absolutely clear. They understand exactly what is happening," he told ET.
Bajaj denied reports that the plant had been closed due to employees testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
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