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Why in news?

The country’s high performing economic districts should be allowed to play by different rules in the third phase of the lockdown beginning 4th April, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Concerns with Economic Recovery

  • In a CII poll almost half of the CEOSs say an economic recovery will take over a year.
  • More than half of the CEOs foresee job losses.
  • Three out of four CEOs identified the complete shutdown of operations as their biggest problem, followed by a lack of demand, supply and distribution chain woes, and a credit crunch.
Grim Outlook CEO Survey

CII’s Strategy

  • CII has called for changes in zone classifications, saying that the 100-150 districts with the highest economic value — identified either through GDP contribution or density of industrial clusters — should be allowed to restart industrial activity, even in containment areas, if stringent rules are followed.
  • The cost of 100% testing and aggressive health protocols is lower than continued shutdown in these areas.
  • The industry body argued for a calibrated exit from the lockdown in the country’s most crucial economic regions.
  • Within these districts, small restricted areas such as the actual street, mohalla, building or industrial complex where COVID-19 cases have been identified should be treated as containment zones.
  • An area of about 500 metres radius around these areas should be treated as orange zones. The remaining area of the district should be classified as green zones.
  • Full industrial operations can be restarted in these priority districts, even within containment zones, if aggressive door-to-door testing, or group testing covering 100% of the population is carried out, and stringent sanitation and distancing protocols are followed.
February 2024