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Lockdown guidelines misinterpreted, no authorized motion in opposition to CEOs if worker discovered COVID constructive: Govt

The consolidated revised pointers have been issued on April 15, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3. (File Photo)

The Union authorities Thursday stated no authorized motion will likely be taken in opposition to the CEO of an organization, nor a manufacturing unit will likely be sealed, in case an worker checks constructive for COVID-19.

The authorities additionally stated the consolidated revised pointers for the lockdown shouldn’t be misused by anybody to harass the administration of any manufacturing or business institutions.

In a letter to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla stated some apprehensions, primarily based on mistaken interpretation of the rules, have been raised within the media and by some corporations having manufacturing amenities.

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He listed the three mistaken apprehensions as: (A) States could take authorized motion together with imprisonment of CEO in case a COVID-19 constructive worker is discovered within the manufacturing unit.

(B) In such a state of affairs, the premises of the manufacturing unit can be sealed for Three months.

(C) In case of non-compliance of precautionary measures, the manufacturing unit could also be closed down for 2 days and could also be allowed to restart after full compliance.

“I would like to clarify that there is no such clause in the consolidated revised guidelines and therefore there is no basis for such misplaced apprehensions,” Bhalla stated in his letter.

The consolidated revised pointers have been issued on April 15, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3.

Modi had additionally stated sure industrial actions can be allowed in some areas after April 20. The pointers specified the small print of such exempted actions and related phrases and circumstances.

Certain quarters of trade together with exporters have raised considerations over the penal provisions within the pointers, saying they depart scope for harassment by authorities, resulting from which manufacturing items could not begin operations, even with minimal workforce.

The union house secretary’s communication to the states and UTs got here hours after he together with secretary within the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Guruprasad Mohapatra talked to trade associations to allay their apprehensions in regards to the pointers.

Bhalla stated within the communication it can be crucial that every one workplaces take measures to make sure social distancing and observe customary well being protocols as notified by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as COVID-19 is a extremely infectious illness.

Accordingly, applicable safeguards at workplaces have been prescribed within the nationwide directives and SOPs on this regard.

Workplaces and industrial and business institutions are required to observe these pointers, he stated.

Secondly, the house secretary stated, the actions allowed below the consolidated revised pointers on April 15, besides in containment zones, have subsumed all the sooner actions that have been permitted below the sooner pointers issued on March 24, 2020 (together with these permitted below the addendums).

In addition, sure new actions have additionally been permitted, he stated.

“Hence, it’s clarified that the consolidated revised pointers dated April 15 don’t curtail the exemptions already offered earlier, except the exempted exercise falls inside a containment zone.

“Therefore, no separate or recent permissions are required from authorities for industries already permitted to function previous to April 15, in areas falling outdoors containment zones,” he stated.

Finally, Bhalla stated, it’s emphasised that topic to compliance with the SOP on social distancing, no recent licence or statutory approval is required for resumption of permitted actions through the lockdown interval.

For instance, he stated, an industrial exercise, allowed to function previous to the lockdown, wants no recent statutory approval, as soon as it has been included as a permitted exercise below the consolidated revised pointers, and has complied with the SOP on social distancing.

“In gentle of the above, I wish to request all State and UT governments that the commercial subject institutions and subject places of work could also be apprised of the rules of lockdown measures which ought to be adopted to forestall the unfold of epidemic.

“These shouldn’t be misused to harass the administration of any manufacturing or business institutions,” he stated.

Earlier, after their assembly with Bhalla and Mohapatra, trade representatives stated the federal government ought to difficulty a notification clearly stating that employers won’t be held accountable in case any employee checks constructive for COVID-19 after resuming operations in manufacturing items.

Industry chambers akin to CII and Assocham attended the video convention.

The chambers additionally urged that inside purple zones, there ought to be a transparent demarcation of hotspots or containment zones as outlined by the Ministry of Home Affairs and financial actions outdoors of containment zones could also be permitted.

“Criminal legal responsibility of employers in case of discovering Covid constructive instances amongst workers has been talked about by many trade members throughout states and must be clarified.

We have seen the clarification from MHA yesterday. A notification or announcement that employers won’t be held accountable for Covid constructive instances will add confidence,” the CII stated.

On Thursday, at a daily press briefing, Joint Secretary within the house ministry Punya Salila Srivastava stated the video convention was held between representatives of trade associations and the 2 senior bureaucrats.

Feedback is being taken from industrial items and their issues are being addressed, she added.

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