How Large Businesses Are Dealing With Maharashtra Covid Curbs
A year after India imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, several Indian states have started tightening restrictions to contain the second wave of Covid-19 that has overwhelmed hospitals.
Maharashtra, India’s richest state that also has the highest case load, barred public gatherings, shut restaurants and bars, closed all shops, malls, cinemas, theatres, swimming pools, auditoriums, gyms, and shooting of films, tv shows, among others, from April 14. It, however, allowed essential services.
Maharashtra’s economy contributes 14.2% to the country’s gross value added. Given Maharashtra’s large share across most segments of the economy, restrictions across the state will have wider ramifications, according to economists, as BloombergQuint had reported.
So far, the disruptions to large scale manufacturing activity are not severe, based on conversations with big business and media statements from companies operating in the state.
JSW Steel Ltd.’s Dolvi plant, where it recently completed expansion, is fully operational.
ACC Ltd. said in a media statement that 70% of its eligible employees have been vaccinated and the company has been ensuring strict adherence to government guidelines across plants and offices. “Adequate infrastructure has been put in place to ensure our employees are safe and get the required medical support.”
Shree Cement Ltd.’s expansion at an upcoming 2.5-million-tonne-per-annum grinding unit near Pune, Maharashtra has been disrupted due to this pandemic. The company may not resume construction activity till the lockdown in Maharashtra is lifted, HM Bangur, managing director at Shree Cement, told BloombergQuint over the phone. He, however, said most of the work has already been completed and the plant can be made operational in a month.
No impact on production at Parle Products Pvt.’s units in Maharashtra.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd., India’s largest consumer goods maker, did not respond to BloombergQuint’s query.
Tata Motors Ltd. said a limited number of employees are attending duty at its Pune unit, adhering to all safety protocols, distancing norms and hygiene standards.
Bajaj Auto Ltd. did not respond to BloombergQuint’s query.
While Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s offices are closed in Maharashtra, plants continue to operate with lower levels of staff while following strict social distancing, hygiene and compulsory Covid-19 testing. The company said it’s providing physical and mental health support, while also bearing the cost of vaccination for its associates and their spouses.
M&M, according to response by Rajeshwar Tripathi, chief human resources officer, automotive and farm sectors, has maintained quarantine centres for its associates at hotspots like Mumbai and Pune, and is providing complete medical assistance.