MP government forms panel for revival of coronavirus-hit economy

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said his government has started taking measures to bring the state’s coronavirus-crippled economy back on track but all precautions will be taken to halt the spread of the viral infection.
While starting economic activities in select areas, social distancing norms and other preventive steps will have to be adhered to, he said.
“We have formed a state-level committee to take measures to reorganisse the state’s economy and provide it a momentum at the end of the coronavirus crisis,” Chouhan told PTI in an e-mail response to queries.
Chouhan said, “We are planning to allow manufacturing industries to resume production soon by following the central government guidelines regarding coronavirus.” The government has approved resumption of activities in certain sectors in the Green Zone (areas free of coronavirus infection) and small towns, he said.
However, workers currently residing in COVID-19 infected areas cannot be allowed to move in industrial units operating outside containment zones and hotspots, the chief minister said.
He said all measures to prevent infection such as use of masks and hand sanitisers should be taken in industrial units given go-ahead to resume production.
As far as possible, arrangements should be made to house workers inside such enterprise, the chief minister said.
Chouhan said although Indore has emerged as the state’s top COVID-19 hotspot, some pharma units located around this industrial centre have been allowed to resume work so as to ensure production of essential medicines.
Government officials estimate that the state is facing monthly losses of Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the lockdown triggered by it.
Pithampur in Dhar district, a major industrial area near Indore, has been badly affected by the lockdown.
Pithampur Industrial Organisation president Gautam Kothari said out of about 850 small-scale units in the area, except a few plants of pharma, packaging and food processing, other factories have been closed due to the lockdown.
However, the state government is gradually trying to revive industrial activities in Pithampur.
The head of Indore unit of Madhya Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (MPIDC) Kumar Purushottam said about 300 units in Pithampur have been allowed to resume production subject to certain conditions.
But in view of necessary maintenance and human resources arrangements, most of these units may take a few days to resume work, he said.
Purushottam said more than 300 units, including pharma plants, flour and pulse mills and warehouses have already been granted go-ahead to operate in a phased manner in Indore district.