Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on March 28 asked industry and trade associations to not allow en-masse migration of workers, as they are not only their assets but could become potential carrier of COVID-19.
Goyal has told the industry and trade associations to take care of their employees and workers in this hour of crisis and distress.
He said this in a meeting through video conference. It was held with the associations to assess the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown in the country, and get their feedback as well as suggestions.
"They are not only their assets and resources, but also could become potential carrier of COVID-19, if they are allowed to migrate en-masse throughout the country and countryside, during this pandemic," an official statement said quoting the minister.
Minister of State for Chemicals and fertilizers and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, who was also present, stressed on retaining the workers and labourers on the payroll and at the same place.
He said that their movement will jeopardize the nationwide lockdown, and also affect the early normalisation in the post-COVID period.
Goyal called upon them to spread the message about the steps taken by the government in containing the menace of COVID-19, with the help of their stakeholders.
He said that they should also engage with various society influencers, including the leaders of different religions and faiths, to propagate all preventive measures, like washing of hands, maintaining social distance, and other health precautions.
Responding to the various issues raised in the conference, the commerce minister said the instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs make it clear that goods movement of any type will not be curtailed in the country.
He also said that many issues raised by the associations relating to other ministries and agencies, will be expeditiously taken up by the ministry.
The situation would lead to more "Make in India" for the country and the world, he added.
The associations narrated their assessment of impact of the lockdown and pandemic on their activities and businesses, and made a range of suggestions.
It was attended by the representatives from CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Laghu Udyog Bharati, Eastern Chamber of Commerce, CAIT, South Indian Chamber of Commerce, IMC, NASSCOM, SIAM, IMTMA, IEMA, FISME, IEEMA, and ICC.
Thousands of migrant workers and daily wagers have been stranded in Ghazipur which lies at the border of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.