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Manufacturing activity resumes partially, clarity on norms still needed

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Four to Five non-core manufacturing units of BHEL coming upNew Delhi, May 5 (IANS) As the lockdown relaxations come in starting Monday and manufacturing of consumer durables resume partially, most companies feel that clarity is required on the guidelines for the resumption of operations.

During the extended period of the nationwide lockdown May 4-17, the government has allowed economic and industrial activity with riders, mostly in orange and green zones.

Speaking to IANS, Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of consumer electronics manufacturer Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL) – a brand licensee of Kodak in India, said that it would take a few more days for smooth resumption of factories and offices as several state governments have not yet clearly communicated on the guidelines.

“It would take a few more days, as many states are yet to communicate clear guidelines on resuming operations. Alot of movement is still restricted…we are working closely with our partners to ensure that any demand-supply gap is bridged and our customers receive safe and hygiene products,” he said.

Marwah said that SPPL has opened all its offices and warehouse across India, as none of them comes under red containment zones. In the meantime, its factory in Noida has been put through all the required steps such as human sanitisation machines and protocols for social distancing, so that as soon as government gives a green signal, the operations can commence.

“Currently, only 15 per cent sale is happening, as major cities, from where over 80 per cent of the demand comes are red zones,” the SPPL CEO said.

Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd, noted that all the major cities which are hubs of commercial and business activities are under the red zone, but state governments are trying hard to open up the business within the guidelines issued by the Central government.

He further said that Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India has been able to successfully start its operations with the required safety measures.

“We have fully sanitised and opened our Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur offices today following operational guidelines of 33 per cent staff strength,” Singh said.

However, the company”s Delhi office has started with a very thin attendance as many staff members come from other areas around Delhi and movement is still restricted in these areas. The borders of Delhi are sealed and therefore no one but for essential services is allowed to cross borders and the company has another regional office at Gurgaon, next to Delhi also opened on Monday with skeleton staff.

“We have also resumed operations smoothly at our manufacturing facility in Kadi, Gujarat. We started with around 350 operators today and expecting the full workforce to join from tomorrow,” Singh told IANS.

However, several companies in the consumer durable segment, who did not want to be named, said that they are not able to comment right now as there is no clarity and they have not able to resume operations. According to them, it would require a few more days for the operations to smoothen.

–IANS

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