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The Commerce and Industries Ministry has called for far-reaching measures to be taken to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown, urging the Home Ministry to allow relaxations of the restrictions on a number of industry sectors.


  • Industrial activity be restarted in at least 15 sectors, including heavy electricals, electronics and telecom equipment, automobiles, steel mills, power looms, defence units, cement, rubber, seeds, agro-chemicals and fertilizers.
  • To begin with, manufacturing should be restarted in single shifts of 20-25% capacity, following proper social distancing and sanitation norms.
  • Companies which are allowed to operate should be allowed to insist on workers returning for duty to avail wages.
  • Export units and construction sector need to be allowed to operate within safeguards, while street vendors and small repairmen should be allowed to provide doorstep services, said the letter.


  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is a central government department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is responsible for formulation and implementation of promotional and developmental measures for growth of the industrial sector, keeping in view the national priorities and socio-economic objectives.
  • The government changed the name of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in 2019.
  • Established in 1995, DIPP was basically mandated with the overall industrial policy formulation and execution, whereas the individual ministries take care of the specific industries’ production, distribution, development and planning aspects.
  • After Internal Trade was added to the mandate of DIPP, the department was renamed as the DPIIT.

The Broad objectives of the DPIIT are:

  • Accelerating industrial growth by providing financial infrastructural and other support.
  • Facilitating foreign investment in industries and coordinating with different agencies for fasttracking of investment approvals.
  • Facilitating development of industries in North East and other special category states.
  • Improving intellectual property rights regime consistent with the country’s international commitments.
  • Maintaining a sound information base of macroeconomic indicators of industrial production and prices.
  • Initiating measures towards procedural changes to make functioning of the department more transparent and responsive.
December 2023