Indian Chamber of Commerce appeals to government to extend â€˜support products and services listâ€™ of Non-Essentials to ensure availability of Essentials
Kolkata/IBNS: The Union Government has already identified the list of jobs and services deemed "essential" and, therefore, these are not required to be in lockdown for the next few weeks.
At present, there are several commodities scheduled under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, as essential drugs, fertilizer, whether inorganic, organic or mixed, foodstuffs, including edible oil seeds and oils etc.
Keepign the present situation in mind, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has appealed to the government to extend ‘support products and services list’ of Non-Essentials to ensure availability of Essentials
Indian Chamber of Commerce has represented and highlighted that the Non-Essential products/services are an integral part of the manufacturing process of Essential products.
Many of the food items including milk, edible oil, processed foods, medicines, daily use items (like toothpaste, soaps) are dependent on raw material, packaging material and transportation of these items from manufacturing units to the food/milk/oil manufacturing units.
ICC completely understands and appreciates the lockdown.
However, ICC feels the need for a clear definition of products and services to ensure smooth manufacturing and supply of Essential goods.
Many Non-Essential products are necessary to ensure regular supply of Essential goods.
It is important to keep these items easily available as right kind of packaging is key to hygiene and ample availability of quality food products.
Else unsafe food products may find their way into the markets.
ICC further suggested to the central government to identify key Non Essential products -- as in most cases, packaging material, related chemicals, spare parts are required to run factories, trucks are required to move these non-essential goods etc. -- which are important to manufacture and deliver essential goods.
On an average, any manufacturing unit uses more than 100 consumables and raw materials to run thei factories and it is complex to define all.
For example, If a unit does not get Packaging material, they cannot pack food items/milk and send to markets.
Similarly card board is necessary for secondary packaging.
The cardboard supplier need to get minimal manpower, paper and glue to manufacture.
If a compressor, boiler, DG set, other equipment breaks down and Industry does not have spare parts available or service technicians available the factory will come to a grinding halt.
ICC has appealed to the government to find ways of extending the ‘support products and services list’ of Non-Essentials to ensure availability of Essentials.
Such units should be allowed to operate under strict protocols by putting in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing.
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