COVID-19: Delhi govt sets up expert panel to suggest measures for economic recovery

New Delhi, Jul 2 () The Delhi government has constituted a 12-member expert panel to suggest measures for economic recovery from the impact of coronavirus in the national capital, a statement said on Thursday.

According to the government, the panel will do a comprehensive analysis and recommend measures to be initiated by various departments, autonomous bodies, local bodies and MCDs to help people and businesses during the pandemic.

The panel, headed by Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC) vice chairman Jasmine Shah, also includes commissioners of labour and industries departments, SDMC, special secretary of the environment department, and representatives of various industries --- trade, manufacturing, automobile, finance and hospitality.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a devastating economic impact... through this committee, we look forward to collaborating with key industry representatives and identifying specific additional measures that government agencies can take to shorten the process of economic recovery," Shah said in the statement. Advertisement

The panel will explore the possibility of renewal or automatic extension of existing licenses issued by departments and local bodies (labour license, shops and establishment registration, contractor license, nursing home registration) which stand expired after March 1 this year, by a general order till March 31, 2021, without penalty or interest.

"This committee will also explore provisions of online license issuing systems or doorstep delivery of licensing systems. The key focus of the committee will be exploring economic reform measures that have the potential for revenue mobilisation for the Delhi government," it said.

According to an order issued by Delhi Disaster Management Authority Special CEO Ravi Dhawan, the exception will be in categories such as excise, pollution control, fire where safety or revenue-related issues are involved.
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"While doing so, the interests of labour should be protected," it said.

"The committee shall explore the requirement or necessity of new licenses or NOCs issued by the various departments to identify the licenses which can be abolished or replaced with only prior intimation. Similarly, the logical periodicity of renewal of licenses be studied and suggestions made on whether unnecessary annual renewals need to be amended or abolished," the order stated. The order also said that the committee should explore international best practices that mega-cities and countries around the world are taking to enable economic recovery form COVID-19. Advertisement

The panel will also examine and suggest penalties or fines or interest imposed on public or business due to COVID-19 pandemic, which can be waived to remove undue financial hardship.

The expert committee might also take up any other issues and suggest innovative measures to help people and business in distress.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 2,442 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally in the city to over 89,000, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 2,803, the authorities said. Advertisement

Recently, Delhi had eclipsed Mumbai as the city worst-hit by the pandemic in the country.

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