Automobile production might be allowed to resume soon
The Coronavirus-induced lockdown has been extended to May 3 in India but PM Modi has also made it clear that some zones might be allowed to take some steps to return to normal functioning post April 20.
In keeping with this line of thought from the government, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has written to the Home Ministry to allow for certain industry sectors to begin functioning in a progressive manner.
The DPIIT has proposed that sectors like textiles, automobiles and electronics be allowed to start functions at 20 to 25 per cent capacity. These factories will also have to maintain sanitation and social distancing norms as per government recommendations. Further, these companies will also have to ensure a single point of entry for workers and arrange for transportation and stay in their facilities.
This is part of a larger initiative by DPIIT to ensure that the economic impact of this shutdown is minimised. The body has also recommended that small vendors, e-commerce and SMEs also be allowed to start functioning. The government is expected to take these recommendations into account when it reveals the guidelines for easing the lockdown tomorrow.
The auto industry will welcome this move if it comes to fruition. This financial year has seen a massive slump for the car market, with March seeing numbers fall by more than 50 per cent for some carmakers. This dip has been compounded by the less-than-smooth transition to the BSVI norms.