CHANDIGARH,29.04.20-The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chandigarh UT Chapter has drafted ‘Strategy for Exit from Lockdown 2.0 : Chandigarh Tricity Perspective’ and has shared with the Chandigarh Administration including Shri V P Singh Badnore, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab & Administrator, UT Chandigarh and Mr Manoj Kumar Parida, Adviser to the Administrator, UT Chandigarh. The document also dwells on Standard Operating Procedures for industries, sector-specific protocol and sector wise suggestions to the UT Administration.

Talking about the proposed exit strategy, Dr S P S Grewal, Chairman, CII Chandigarh UT Council & CEO, Grewal Eye Institute said that Chandigarh should not be looked into as standalone UT, but along with its neighbouring cities of Mohali and Panchkula. Thus, the tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula should be considered as one entity, while taking any decision on way forward. This should be noted that if Chandigarh remains closed and Mohali and Panchkula are opened, it will result in making trade and industry uncompetitive and unviable in UT. At the same time, it may be noted people from the Tricity commutes daily either to city or out of city to do business or to earn livelihood. In this backdrop, it is very critical to devise common strategy for Chandigarh along with the bordering districts. In this regard, CII has suggested formation of Coordination Committee - comprising of DCs of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula to plan, review and address implementation challenges.

On the issue of entire UT been declared as Red Zone & Containment Zone, Dr Grewal said that livelihood of lot of citizens are at stake, including the vulnerable and weaker section of the society. With complete lockdown, many of the businesses are staring at massive losses. The MSMEs are facing the major burnt, and if lockdown continues for few more weeks, the risk of their businesses getting wiped off increases significantly. Therefore, CII has suggested for distinction between Red Zone and Containment Zones within the UT. In Chandigarh, specific Containment Zones should be identified and barricaded, the rest of the areas in the UT should be allowed for to open in a calibrated and staggered way. The industrial operation in the permitted list with proper health & hygiene protocols and adhering to social distancing norms may be allowed in phased wise manner.

In its suggestion submitted to Chandigarh Administration for supporting trade & industry, CII had emphasized that companies are facing the double whammy of almost zero revenue and fulfilling the social obligations viz. CSR and payment of salaries & wages, hence, supporting the trade and industry is the need of the hour.

Dr Grewal said that, CII has requested the UT to consider complete waiver of the fixed electricity charges for industrial units during the period of lockdown on the lines of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Amongst other suggestions shared, CII has requested for waiver of Property Tax for 6 months; extending the current excise year by a month from the day complete lock down is lifted, whichever is later; temporary waiver of Excise, License fees, VAT on liquor and all other State Taxes applicable on all services provided by Hotels & Restaurants.

Dr Grewal complimented the phenomenal work being done by the Chandigarh Administration to deal with COVID 19. CII and its member companies are supporting the needy people across the country by way of providing packed foods, dry ration kits etc. We are also providing masks, sanitizers, PPEs to frontline workers across the country.