FICO opposes decision to operate industry with MoH’s strict guidelines
Says mandates in guidelines are not practical at ground level
Ludhiana: Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organization (FICO) chairman KK Seth and president Gurmeet Singh Kular have strongly opposed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Justice’s strict guidelines for industrialists to operate the industry from April 20, 2020.
In a statement here today, they said the mandates in the guidelines are not practical at ground level, especially in the MSME Sector, most of the micro scale industry operates in the tiny sized plots, where it is impossible to observe the concept of social distancing. And, there are certain points which are very difficult to observe.
Regarding screening, they said an industrialist can arrange an infrared thermometer to screen the employees, but it has been observed that the symptoms of the dieses varies from person to person i.e. an affected person may or may not have high fewer initially. Secondly, the virus can travel to industry through the means other than the labourers, it can travel even from the goods & materials. Without opting any confirmed testing techniques, it is very difficult to screen the virus out while the industry is operational.
Regarding operation with 50% labour they pointed out that operating the industries with 50 % labour is practically impossible, if operated with 50 % labour, there will be eventual rise in the production cost for the products being manufactured, and under the current circumstances the manufacturer cannot sell the products at higher prices which will eventually leads to the inventory. So, there is no point in manufacturing a product with higher labour cost, just to keep it in inventory.
Moreover, how can an industrialist can discriminate between his labour, the basis of discrimination will lead to a revolt of labour. This is impractical and not possible to operate the industry with 50% labour.
With regard to the supply chain they pointed out that for any industry to operate, there must be a proper working supply chain, where the manufactured products could be sold. The current scenario is that the industry can manufacture its products, but cannot supply it further, as the dealers & traders all over the country are closed due to lock down. So, manufacturing the products just to stock them inside the industry is of no point to operate.
Regarding legal action they stated that with reference to the National Disaster Management Act 51 & 58, there is a provision to conviction & criminal proceeding for the owner of the factory & operation’s manager of the factory, if anything or anyone found not in line with the Standard Operating Procedures.
FICO leaders said industrialist is ready to provide hygienic food and safe shelter condition to the labour, but not at the cost of a criminal proceeding against him.
“It is not to mention that the countrywide lockdown since 22nd March, has been successful in containing the disease for spreading exponentially, it is the time to continue with the lockdown, to vanish the pandemic from our country, not to operate the industry and risk our lives”, they asserted.