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Govt likely to open certain sectors to allow migrant workers to return to work while taking precautionary measures to contain coronavirus

While there has not been any official confirmation from the government yet, such a move is indeed expected. An extended economic shutdown is not feasible nor desirable.

The migrant workers have been one of the most grievously affected groups in India. The economic crisis unleashed in the country by the nationwide lockdown that was imposed to combat the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic has led to migrant workers losing their jobs and left stranded in places far away from their homes. Now, it is being reported that the government is looking to open certain sectors to allow the migrant workers to return to their jobs.

While there has not been any official confirmation from the government yet, such a move is indeed expected. An extended economic shutdown is not feasible nor desirable. Now that the initial lockdown phase has ended and the hotspots for the Wuhan Coronavirus have been identified, it is likely that certain sectors will be opened up allowing the migrant workers to return to their jobs. However, the economy is likely to be opened in phases and the entire economy will not be opened at one go.

MHA guidelines on opening up sectors

Moreover, some states have already announced partial opening of sectors, especially agriculture. The exit strategy after the lockdown to bring back the economy on track, includes conditional relaxation for certain sectors. The MHA in its revised guidelines for extended lockdown said that some of the essential sectors such agriculture, manufacturing sectors will be allowed to operate during the lockdown as a measure by the government to “mitigate the hardships” suffered by people. Moreover, industries functioning in rural areas, outside the municipal limits, will be allowed to operate from April 30 but with rigorous social distancing norms. Further, self-employed electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters can render their services from April 20.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had indicated on the 14th of April that some relaxation was likely in the cards in areas that have managed to curb the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus from the 20th of April. In his address, he also extended the lockdown till the 3rd of May.

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