Unlocking of economic activities to be done in phased manner, says Subhash Desai, Maharashtra Industries' minister
Unlocking of economic activities to be done in phased manner, says Subhash Desai, Maharashtra Industries' minister

The favourable monsoon forecast and gains due to monsoon for the agricultural sector will help revive Maharashtra’s economy, stated Subhash Desai, Minister for Industries, Maharashtra. However, the state alongside is preparing for any COVID wave that may follow, the minister added.

Addressing the virtual interaction on impact of COVID-19 on Maharashtra’s Economy, organised by FICCI, Desai said that experts are predicting another wave of pandemic. Thus, the government and the industry will have to be cautious about it. “The state government has planned the unlock in a phase-wise system. We urge everyone to cooperate and adapt to the situation to preserve lives as well as livelihood,” he said.

The government’s latest guidelines on a phased-wise unlocking and imposition of restrictions are based on weekly monitoring of positivity rate and oxygen-beds occupancy, he added. “These are the two factors that are being considered for unlocking various sectors and districts. We continue to amend the guidelines based on these parameters,” he said.

The minister said that the state was the first to introduce such an independent policy. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), under this policy, is ready to allot instant land for oxygen plants to be set up. Incentives to the tune of 150 per cent are being offered. The minister also thanked the industry for maintaining the balance between demand and supply of oxygen during the peak of the second wave

“Around 800 metric tonnes of oxygen production is assured in the next few months. Our undisputed industrial and investment position in the country is shining once again and our vision of becoming a USD 1 trillion economy by 2025 will hopefully be realised soon,” Desai added.

The minister said that industry being the second largest sector in the state contributes 32 per cent to the state’s GDP. “We see the importance and the role of the industry and services sector in the state economy and therefore, the government, from the beginning of implementing restrictions and announcing the lock down, has tried to ensure that the economic wheels keep moving,” he further added.

Ashish Kumar Singh, ACS-CMO, Transport & Ports, Govt of Maharashtra said that as it is difficult to predict how the third wave of the pandemic will look like, the state is trying to unlock in a calibrated way. “Low GDP directly affects government revenues. Incomes have seriously shrunk, as has the economy, and there is not much of a silver lining looking forward unless we build resilience to major and minor shocks,” he added.

On June 5, the Maharashtra government announced a detailed plan to initiate the unlock in the state. Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported 10,442 COVID cases on Sunday, taking the state's infection tally to 59,08,992, while 483 deaths pushed the toll to 1,11,104, the health department said.

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