UP to prepare roadmap for labour reforms to fight coronavirus lockdown

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has asked the officials to prepare a roadmap for urgent to deal with the headwinds of lockdown.

Chairing a review meeting here on Sunday, Adityanath instructed UP infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC) Alok Tandon to facilitate the rebooting of industries in the state during lockdown 3.0 beginning tomorrow.

He mandated Tandon with the task to plan a strategy to introduce in the industrial sector to cope up with the vortex of migrant labour crisis, lockdown and social distancing protocols.

The CM also directed officials to issue the necessary advisory by tonight pertaining to the operation of the various industries during lockdown 3.0.

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Yesterday, Adityanath had asked for modelling the reboot of the industrial sector on the sugar mills and brick kilns. During lockdown 1.0 and 2.0, 119 UP sugar mills and most of the 12,000 odd brick kilns had continued to operate without reporting any spread of the infection in their vicinity.

“If the state sugar mills and brick kilns could successfully operate during the lockdown period by following the social distancing norms, then other industries could also replicate this template,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi had told the media here last evening.

Meanwhile, the CM has ordered for ensuring that the Rs 1,000 cash handout each to the daily wage earners and labourers rendered jobless owing to the lockdown is provided on time. So far, UP has given the first installment of the ex gratia to nearly 3 million beneficiaries.

Besides, he has asked the heads of the departments to work towards creating 2 million job opportunities, especially in the rural areas, for the large influx of UP origin migrant labourers from other states.

While, almost half a million stranded labourers have already returned to UP, the state government has estimated that more than a million more could arrive in the next two months.

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The state is also exploring alternative sources of revenues to perk up coffers to partly compensate for the loss of earnings under the heads of state goods and services tax (SGST), excise etc following lockdown. A special committee has been instituted for this purpose.

So far, UP has not cut nor delayed paying salaries to 1.6 million state employees and 1.2 million pensioners, which totals about Rs 12,500 crore every month, despite facing severe financial strain.

Further, the state is planning to attract fresh investment in the post-covid ecosystem and to woo companies mulling to shift their manufacturing plants from China to other countries.

Recently, the CM had asked UP industrial development minister Satish Mahana and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) minister Sidharth Nath Singh to initiate a dialogue process with the ambassadors of different countries for attracting investment.