UP to Kerala: States try to bring businesses back to life in lockdown

The MHA guidelines said that states and Union territories cannot dilute the protocols, but are allowed to impose stricter measures as per the requirements of local areas
A day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) came out with guidelines for reopening of industries and agricultural activities, states got down to detailing a model for implementation.

With the guidelines to be made effective from April 20, states are looking at ways to implement them while keeping an eye on the situation at the ground level.

The MHA guidelines said that states and Union territories cannot dilute the protocols, but are allowed to impose stricter measures as per the requirements of local areas.

Some states have already come up with specific guidelines based on MHA's, while some are still deliberating on relaxations.


The Maharashtra government has decided not to allow resumption of industries in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and areas under Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Nagpur municipal corporations. The government will give priority to agro processing units in rural areas, Industries Minister Subhash Desai said on Thursday.

The restrictions in Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions and Nagpur would continue in view of a large number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in these areas. WITHIN THE Mumbai region the restrictions will remain in force in nine nine municipal corporation areas including Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai.

Desai held a review meeting with industries and health department officials to formulate a policy for resumption of industries in the state.


Uttar Pradesh government has started the process of drafting state government orders pertaining to specific sectors after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The government would be following the MHA guidelines for resumption of industrial and agricultural activities in letter and spirit.


The Gujarat government has issued guidelines for industries and commercial activities to resume from April 20, subject to safety measures and social distancing measures. The relaxations, however, will not apply to areas declared as hotspot or containment zones in different cities of Gujarat.

The state government will now be forming a seven-member district level committee, chaired by respective district collectors to oversee implementation of the guidelines.


Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that the state government was awaiting further details from the Centre on allowing industries to operate during the lockdown period.

The state government has formed a committee under Finance Secretary S Krishnan to study lifting the lockdown restrictions for various sectors, including factories from April 20 onwards. The committee will be in touch with the central government to get its approval on recommendations, based on which restrictions will be eased in various sectors.


The Odisha government would come up with a notification on April 17 for implementation of guidelines issued by the MHA.

“Activities at industrial estates and operations of MSMEs will be allowed to recommence from April 20, with strict observance of social distancing norms. Workers will be asked to stay within the industrial premises, so as to minimise travel. Production cannot be allowed to halt for long as the state needs to revive its economic activity,” said a senior official.

For remote districts, the government will take a lenient view on workers’ attendance. But since Bhubaneswar and its periphery has been listed as one of the Covid-19 hotspots, “we will act with caution as far as the count of workers will be allowed,” the official said.

Even before MHA’s announcement, the Odisha government allowed relaxation in lockdown norms in agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and fisheries & animal husbandries.


The Kerala government is yet to come up with details for implementation of guidelines, though a meeting of ministers was held on Thursday.

The government is likely to seek the Centre's permission to divide the state into four zones, based on the number of Covid-19 cases under treatment.

Districts like Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, and Malappuram, which have seen more number of Covid-19 cases in the recent past, will be in a zone under utmost control till May 3.

Agriculture, fisheries, and construction sectors might see some relaxation after April 20. The state government has also sought feedback from industry organisations on the kind of relaxation they require to start operations.


Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has scheduled a Cabinet meeting for April 19, a day ahead of implementation of relaxations proposed by the MHA. The state Cabinet will discuss the proposed relaxations in detail, besides the outcome of the ongoing lockdown in the state.

Rao, while reviewing the situation on Thursday, said that the government will take a final call on relaxation in the non-red zones, depending on the situation prevailing on April 19.

The state has come up with 259 containment centres, where stringent measures are being taken to contain the spread of the virus.  The government has readied 20,000 beds sufficient to handle cases going up to 100,000 in the state.


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to take immediate steps for aquaculture exports to other states.

However, even as the state is taking steps to open the economy in the non-red zones along MHA guidelines, it has directed the administration to enforce the lockdown stringently.

(Aneesh Phadnis, Virendra Singh Rawat, Vinay Umarji, Jayajit Dash, Dasarath Reddy Bhuswam, Gireesh Babu)

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel