Expressing concern over the plight of small industries owing to the continued lockdown, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday sought the Centre’s permission to allow these to operate by engaging labour from the family or the neighbourhood. The Chief Minister has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to allow small industries, located in urban areas, to function outside the containment zones and be subject to full Covid preventive measures as per the specified SOPs in this regard. Pointing out that most industrial cities of Punjab have recently come under the Red Zone because of people coming in from others states, he said that these industries can function with 2 to 5 people comprising of family and neighbours.
He said that a large number of tiny, cottage, micro and small industries operating in the state, employ around 2-5 persons who reside in the neighbourhood and in many cases only family labour is used with no external workers at all. Often these small and tiny units are vendors of large units and supply them with some essential components, failing which even large units, even though permitted, cannot function, he further observed, seeking amendment to the instructions/guidelines issued by the Union Home Secretary. The Chief Minister has solicited Amit Shah’s prompt intervention to direct his ministry to amend these guidelines to allow the said industries in Punjab to function.