Lockdown exemptions can help partial but key restoring of economy: ASSOCHAM

New Delhi: Exemptions from lockdown measures are wide-ranging in nature and under the given circumstances of health emergency, this is the best we could expect from the government, said ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr Deepak Sood.

“Industries operating in rural areas or outside the municipality limits, special economic zones and industrial townships with certain conditions, which can be fulfilled with some costs, are a kind of partial lifting of lockdown. This is, in a way, graded opening of the economy, a proposition being advocated by ASSOCHAM. We only hope and would urge upon our members and society at large to strictly follow the SOPs so that this experiment is successful and does not pose any additional health costs,” said Mr Sood.

He added, if implemented well and in a responsible manner, the economic activities can be restored to the extent of 30-40 per cent by our back-of-envelope calculations. “After all, segments like food processing, cargo movement, postal services, courier services, ports, manufacture of IT hardware, mining, electricity generation, telecom, jute industries, packaging material, pharmaceuticals besides all essentials are being allowed. The entire agri value chain has been covered under the exemptions. The challenge lies how well we are able to use these exemptions in full conformity of the guidelines and in spirit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for strict adherence to safety measures.”

Besides, with the emphasis on digital economy and the government departments, banking services remaining functional, we need to be treading with caution since we are up against a viral enemy which remains invincible so far despite best of global efforts.