Lockdown impact: UP to reboot export oriented units, SEZs on priority

Topics Coronavirus | SEZ | Lockdown

UP CM Yogi Adityanath during a meeting on coronavirus situation in state. (Source: UP CMO)
Even as the Covid-19 lockdown was extended till May 17, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday announced the launch of a special drive to restart all the export oriented units (EOU), apart from the manufacturing plants located in special economic zones (SEZ) and industrial estates.

Chairing a review meeting, Chief Minister Adityanath directed officials to expedite the rebooting of these industrial plants apart from industries for which permissions have been granted under lockdown 3.0.

“The industrial development department is in touch with the respective district magistrates to ensure the speedy revival of the industrial activities without any hurdle,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media here this evening.

He said the CM had stressed upon the early resumption of industrial activities at all costs for the sake of the exchequer, employment and revival of businesses in the state. However, industries are required to follow social distancing norms and other precautions on their premises.

“Besides, the state is working for revising the sectoral policies and implementing industrial labour reforms. The labour department has been asked to submit a proposal within two days, so that it is placed before the cabinet for approval,” Awasthi said.

These labour reforms are aimed at enabling the state's industrial sector to deal with the the migrant labour crisis, the lockdown and social distancing protocols.

Currently, more than 8,500 industrial units engaged in the manufacture of medical and food supplies, apart from those pertaining to the continues process industries, are operational.

Over the past couple of days, more than 10 ‘Shramik Special’ trains from other states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat have arrived in UP carrying stranded labourers. About 65,000 labourers and students have either returned to UP or have been taken to their respective districts within the state by train or bus.

“Nearly half a dozen trains are expected to arrive today, while nine others are en route to UP. At the same time, we have approved six more trains to bring back our labourers,” he said, adding the officials were monitoring the situation regularly.

Meanwhile, the CM has instructed officials to make arrangements for the screening and quarantine of people arriving in UP, from foreign countries, at Lucknow and Varanasi under the central protocols.

Following lockdown 1.0, nearly half a million migrant labourers had returned to UP. Now, the Adityanath government has estimated an inward exodus of more than a million labourers and workers in the coming weeks.

The state has set in motion the process for arranging quarantine facilities to accommodate almost a million people at the district level. The government is looking at creating local jobs for about 2 million people. The state also plans to expand the ambit of employing labourers in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

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