Chamber urges govt to allow support products, services during lockdown

Mumbai, Mar 24 () The Indian Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday urged the government to allow operations of non-essential support product and services that are required for the production of essential products and services during the lockdown period.

The chamber also requested the government to find ways like shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing to keep workers safe so that units providing these support products and services coming under non-essential category could operate during restrictions.

These products and services are key in the manufacturing of essential products and delivery of services but would be disallowed during the lockdown as these fall under non-essential category, the chamber pointed out.

The chamber further said that since the Centre has already identified the list of jobs and services deemed "essential" and, therefore, are not required to be in lockdown for the next few weeks, the exemption should be allowed to such manufacturing units as well.Advertisement

"There is a need for a clear definition of products and services to ensure smooth manufacturing and supply of essential goods. Many non-essential products are necessary to ensure regular supply of essential goods," its Director General Rajeev Singh said.

"We expect that such units should be allowed to operate under strict protocols by putting in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing," he added.

The Indian Chamber of Commerce has made a representation to the government highlighting non-essential products or services that are an integral part of the manufacturing process of essential products.
Advertisement

He also said it is important to keep these items easily available as the right kind of packaging is key to hygiene and ample availability of quality food products. "Else, unsafe food products may find their way into the markets."

Currently, there are several commodities scheduled under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, such as essential drugs, fertilisers (including inorganic, organic or mixed), and foodstuffs, including edible oil seeds and oils, among others. Most of the food items, including milk, edible oil, processed foods, medicines, and daily-use items like toothpaste and soaps, among others, depend on raw materials, packaging materials and transportation.Advertisement

"We have suggested to the government to identify key non-essential products as in most cases, packaging materials, related chemicals, spare parts to run factories, trucks to move these non-essential goods that are important to manufacture and deliver essential goods.

"On an average, a manufacturing unit uses more than 100 consumables and raw materials to run our factories and it is complex to define all," Singh said.

The chamber further said that since the Centre has already identified the list of jobs and services deemed "essential" and, therefore, are not required to be in lockdown for the next few weeks, the exemption should be allowed to such manufacturing units as well. PSK Md MRMR
{{}}

(This story has not been edited by Business Insider and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)