Export Promotion Council for SEZ and EOUs (EPCES) Vice Chairman Bhuvnesh Seth said that in most of the states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka, there was complete lockdown. Manufacturing units in special economic zones (SEZs) and export oriented units (EOUs) were not able to restart operations from Monday as they did not receive permissions from authorities in their respective states, according to exporters.
On April 15, the Home Affairs Ministry issued guidelines stating that manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control are allowed in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of standard operating protocol for social distancing.
Export Promotion Council for SEZ and EOUs (EPCES) Vice Chairman Bhuvnesh Seth said that in most of the states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka, there was complete lockdown.
“Today no EOU and SEZ is operational. Units making essential items and agriculture goods are working since day one. Units are facing problems of cash flow,” he told adding that there is no hope till May 3.
Seth said that as the day passes on Monday, there was complete lockdown in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.
Noida and Greater Noida have been declared hot spots, but he is hopeful for Haryana as majority of areas were in green zone.
“Few cases were found near Kundli, Sonepat and Narela, where lockdown was strengthened on April 19. Units can apply but permission will be given in phased manner, as per our discussions with officials,” Seth said
He added that on April 19, anxiety was there since morning in units as everybody was calling to check status of online portals so that the units can apply for necessary permissions.
“We got the information yesterday night from state government officials of industrial department that they will start portals and units can seek permission on April 20,” he said.
He also said that EoUs and SEZs have lost 50 per cent of their orders and they need to start their factories to execute balance orders, retain clients and protect themselves from losing business to China.
He added that industries in Italy, Spain and the UK have started working with minimum workforce.
An apparel manufacturer from Madurai said that they have not started operations on Monday as they have not yet get the required permissions.
“We all have applied for permissions, but no permission. So we were not able to start operations from Monday,” Penguin Apparels Managing Director Anbukani said. He has a unit in an EOU in Madurai industrial estate.
Commenting on the situation, Aqeel Ahmed Panaruna, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports said that majority of the leather products and footwear exporters are located in the urban areas and not located in the industrial zones, except few industries.
“About 92 per cent of the units in the sector are in the MSME segment. The industry is strictly following guidelines of central and state governments and we will wait for further information on the lockdown, as many countries like USA, UK, Spain and Italy are also under the lockdown,” he said.
Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that the protocols made by the government is difficult to implement and it will significantly increase compliance cost for MSME units.
FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai said that in the green areas, units have started applying for permissions and are expected to soon get the clearance to commence operations.