CII suggests calibrated lifting of nationwide lockdown

New Delhi (IANS) As anticipations rise about the nationwide lockdown being extended, a CII report has suggested that the lockdown should be lifted in a phased and calibrated manner.

The industry body, in its report also said that as it is an evolving situation, any alteration of decisions and approach should be accepted if required.

"A calibrated and safe exit from the lockdown, subject, of course, to considerations being given to the geographical spread of COVID in the country, would be a practical approach. This is an evolving situation and therefore, we should be open to alter our approach as we go along," it said.

It said that while the lockdown continues, plans have to be made for calibrated opening of sectors, beyond the ones, which are operational by virtue of being essential services.

"In the first phase, we recommend that manufacturing, e-commerce and construction may be permitted to open up partially, perhaps 25 per cent to begin with," said that report titled "Exit From The Lockdown: A CII Strategy".

In phase-2, all other sectors could be restarted, which can be 25 per cent to begin with, then 50 per cent and 100 per cent at a later stage, it suggested.

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The industry body has also proposed that five aspects should be considered while opening up the economy from the current lockdown. They are workplace safety, logistics issues, re-starting industry in phases, getting back the migrant work force and institutional mechanism for effective coordination on real time basis.

CII has also suggested that prior to lifting the lockdown, adequate notice has to be given and economic package has to be announced.

Its approach on the economy revival package is two-fold, the CII said, first a part of the package through fiscal expansion which is directed towards the bottom of the pyramid followed by enhanced credit to industry through banks.

"The best way to support the distressed sections of the population would be to provide ration directly rather than cash. This negates the impact of inflation, if any, on the population and also ensures that the money is indeed spent on food and basic provisions rather than other forms of expenditure," it said.

Further, provision of shelter and meals should be made for the people, who are in need of this.

"This system is not perfect, since there is always pilferage from the system by miscreants, but these are extraordinary times and the wellbeing of the largest section of the population would have to be kept in mind, even if through an imperfect system," it said.

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