Can’t run our units, not feasible, say industrialists

Can’t run our units, not feasible, say industrialists

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 30

Several industry owners have opposed the move of the government asking them to run their units and retain the workforce.

The industry owners asked as to how they could run their factories amid such a crisis.

An industry owner said they were seeking relief and the government in turn was asking them to work. “We have been asking to give relief on our electricity bills, among other things, but we are being told to run the factories instead. This is not right. How will we work when everything else is shut?” he asked.

“There is a lockdown and curfew has also been imposed. There will be no work now. There are no raw materials and whom will we send our products to? How will we receive our payments?” asked Ravinder Dhir, Veopar Sena president. He said this was not feasible at all.

The industrial owners said they would instead help workers with essential needs. “We are with our working class at this hard time and will always be. But it is not easy for us to work at this point. The government must understand,” another industrial unit owner said.

Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma had on Sunday said: “The industrialists can operate their units if they retain their workforce in proper safe conditions in the wake of coronavirus.”

To address the problem of migrant labourers and prevent their exodus from the state amid the Covid-19 crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had asked all industrial units and brick kilns in the state to commence operations with such migrants if they have adequate provisions to accommodate them safely within the premises.

“The owners of industrial units and brick kilns can commence production if they have enough space to accommodate the migrant labourers and provide them with food,” the Chief Minister had said, while appealing to the owners to ensure that social distancing was maintained during this period.

He had asked them to take all precautions at such industrial facilities for workers, adding that the owners should also make soap and water freely available for use for workers and regularly sanitise the common facilities. Hand wash facilities and sanitisers should be placed prominently at strategic points, the Chief Minister had said.

The directions and discussions came amid reports of lakhs of migrant labourers getting stranded across the nation and the problem assuming ominous proportions with such labourers gathering in large numbers at the borders of many states, according to an official spokesperson.

The CM said this would be beneficial for both — industry/brick kiln owners as well as labourers, who had lost their employment and homes in the wake of Covid-19 lockdown and had been left to fend for themselves.

Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma on Sunday had said industries could operate their units by ensuring proper sanitisation condition and practicing social distancing at workplace in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The DC said industrialists must contact ALC Baljit Singh at 97803 69350 or their area labour inspectors to get consent to operate.

Don’t demand fee from parents, pvt schools told

Providing a major relief to parents in the district from submitting school fee of their wards, Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma, on Monday evening directed all private schools not to demand school fees from the parents.

It was brought to the notice of the administration that even during the curfew hours the schools in the district were circulating notices to the parents to submit the fee.

Avoiding the mass gathering advisory, the schools were even asking parents to visit their account offices and deposit the fee either in cash or by cheque. Subsequently, Sharma stated that all private schools, under the PSEB and CBSE, couldn't not ask parents to deposit the fee till the curfew was observed. The school authorities could clear the pending dues only after the curfew was lifted.

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