Tamil Nadu CM assures balance between Covid-19 control, economic activity

File photo of E Palaniswami | Photo: PTI
The Tamil Nadu Government has told industries in the State that it is working on striking a balance between Covid-19 related restrictions and opening up of economic activities, and plans to take a calibrated approach in this regard.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today held a discussion with leading industrialists in the State via videoconference.

The State was represented by the Chief Minister, Industry Minister M C Sampath, Industry Secretary N Muruganandam and other officials, while industry veterans include TVS Motor Chairman Venu Srinivasan, India Cements Vice Chairman N Srinivasan, and CII Tamil Nadu State Council Chairman K Hari Thiagarajan, among others.

One of the industrialists who attended the meeting said all the representatives have agreed that industries should start operations in phased manner, without compromising on safety.

Exporters at the meeting told the state government that many of their orders have been cancelled and that they should be allowed to produce to fulfill pending orders at least.

All agreed that supply chain and labour are going to be major challenges, and many companies don't have accommodation for workers at the fatory premises, hence transportation should be allowed.

N Srinivasan told the administration that each industry has its own problem in resuming operation. As far as the cement industry is concerned, transport is the main problem as trucks are struck midway and drivers are not available. The sector has no problem in producing and selling cement. It can resume operations once the necessary permission is obtained.

"With no income and with financial strain, the industry will face enormous difficulties if the lockdown continues. It will have problem in raising funds from banks and paying salary in future," Srinivasan said.

"We will go by your decision and strictly follow the protocols on social distancing, on who should enter the factory, and safety of employees. We will strictly follow standard operating procedures and dos and don'ts have already prepared by the company as per official guidelines," he said.

Hearing the industrialists, Chief Minister assured them that the state will gradually open up in a calibrated manner, while ensuring safety and health are given top priority.

The State government on Wednesday clarified that ten sectors have been identified as continuous process industries. These include refineries, large steel plants, large cement plants, continuous process chemical industries like paints, sugar mills, fertilisers, float glass, large foundries with continuous process, tyre plants and large paper mills. It has allowed skeletal staff for essential maintenance of all closed industrial units, to ensure the safety of the machinery or installation.

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