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The Indian automobile sector had shut down all operations in the country, in line with the central government's nationwide lockdown announcement from the 24th of March 2020. Now, the auto industry in India is looking at restarting operations.
The Ministry of Commerce & Industries has sent a letter to the Union Home Minister requesting to restart certain activities, which includes automobile production operations. The decision will be announced once the central government takes a decision on the nature of lockdown going forward.
The Ministry has further stated in the letter that reasonable safeguard measures will be taken. The restart of operations will help improve the economy and provide liquidity to the people. Once the production and other operations restart, companies are required to ensure all safety protocols and social distancing regulations.
The ministry has stated that companies will need to ensure single-entry points for workers, carry out sanitisation of premises on a regular basis and ensure sufficient space for social distancing. Also, all companies will initially be allowed to work at just 20 to 25% capacity and will operate single shifts only. Companies which do restart operations will also have to provide separate transport facilities for workers or make stay arrangements at the facility itself.
The entire auto industry had previously stopped operations and ordered a complete shutdown, owing to the severe coronavirus threat in the country. However, taking into consideration, the economic situation and unemployment concerns, the industry is looking at getting back into work-mode in a slow phase-wise manner.
With all operations having been put on hold, automotive companies have taken the time to support the central and state governments in fighting the deadly virus. Companies have set up a number of teams at their facilities, to manufacture medical aids, such as ventilators, face shields, hand sanitizers and other equipment. Many companies have also donated large sums of money to the PM and CM relief funds as well.
Thoughts On The Auto Industry Slowly Restarting Operations In India
The lockdown has hit the Indian auto industry in a big way, leaving factory workers and many other contractors at a high risk of losing their jobs. Now, with the lockdown in India, expected to get extended, these risks increase further. The plan to restart operations in a slow manner might help offer some economic relief to both, the company and its workforce.