Industrial activity is slowly and steadily picking up in areas, excluding the red zone, in Maharashtra. As on date, 25,000 industrial units have restarted, where 6 lakh workers have joined the work. Industries Minister Subhash Desai, on Monday, said that the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has, so far, cleared approvals for 57,745 units, of which 9,147 are from western Maharashtra and 5,774 have resumed production.
He announced concessions in the electricity bill saying that industrial units can pay on the power that has been consumed. He informed that the government hopes a package for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the centre and the state will also provide other facilities. The minister said the government has announced relief in the repayment of loans due to the present lockdown.
According to the credit rating agency CARE, there are 47.8 lakh MSMEs that employ 90.77 lakh employees in Maharashtra. These MSMEs contribute 14.8 per cent to the gross state domestic product.
However, Desai, during his web address with the industry representatives, referred to their demand for the reopening of industrial units in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, which fall in the red zone due to higher number of COVID-19 positive cases. He sought their cooperation, as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has resolved to convert these areas into green zones by May end. “Do not make any haste, as the priority is to fight the war against the virus,’’ he noted.
As reported by FPJ, the state government has set up a task force to attract investments post COVID-19 from China, US, UK, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Nearly 2,500 industrial units were identified and the possible investment will be Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh in the state.