CII had been urging the government to focus on agriculture and MSMEs as these sectors needed maximum care and help in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The fresh guidelines were released by the MHA on Wednesday, just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the lockdown will now be extended till May 3. (Photo: Reuters/Representational image)

Soon after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued detailed guidelines on the relaxation of lockdown after April 20, industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said that the decision is a step in the right direction.

“The phased manner of the exit from lockdown is welcome and provides a roadmap for economic restart after May 3,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.

“The MHA guidelines are in line with CII suggestions on calibrated exit from lockdown as per spatial and sectoral considerations while maintaining health and sanitation as well as social distancing protocols,” he added.

“With this advance guidance, the industry would be able to better prepare for restarting economic activities.”

CII had been urging the government to focus on agriculture and MSMEs as these sectors needed maximum care and help in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The industry body’s suggestions focused on the need to protect the livelihoods of the rural citizens, besides protecting people working in allied rural sectors involving farm activities like harvesting and rural infrastructure activities.

Given that Rabi crop is in the harvesting stage, CII had also suggested that all necessary support industries such as Agri inputs including fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and others should be allowed to operate under the essential category.

The fresh guidelines were announced by the Centre on Wednesday, just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the lockdown will now be extended till May 3.

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