CII wants economic activities to continue with calibrated restrictions

Chennai, Jan 21: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today made a recommendation to the Tamil Nadu Government on a framework for calibrated restrictions with continuity of economic activities during Covid-19.
While complimenting the State Government’s efforts under the leadership of Chief Minister M K Stalinon handling the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, the CII said after almost two years of combating the health emergency, it was critical to ensure that economic recovery remains on track to enable people to recover to pre-pandemic income levels.
In this context, CII paper suggest a framework for calibrated restrictions without impacting economic revival activities in the State.
In a letter to Mr Stalin, the CII said social and economic activities need to be considered separately.
Social activities, in particular mass gatherings for any social sports, entertainment, recreation, etc, should be restricted in general to curtail further spread of the Omicron variant among the people.
CII suggests a containment strategy based on micro zones. These are small, clearly marked geographical areas identified and demarcated by district administrations, such as neighbourhoods, villages, talukas, urban bodies, pin-codes, etc. to monitor and manage the outbreak.
Random sampling for testing and sero-positivity and early warning systems will facilitate tracking the spread of the contagion and considering response measures.
A combination of vaccination rate, hospitalization incidence and sero-prevalence, if available, should be used as parameters to determine containment and subsequent opening in micro zones and the level of restrictions, the CII said.
Containment at micro zones should be considered only when available hospital beds are 75 per cent occupied. Depending on this, the micro zones can be progressively closed or opened up.
Normal economic activities should continue in the rest of the district and even in micro containment zones under strict supervision.
In micro containment zones, all factories may be allowed to function under certain conditions of hygiene and safety without any distinction between essential and non-essential goods and services.
All shops may be permitted to open without restrictions on timing to avoid crowding at certain times. However, crowd control is essential to enable social distancing.
Work from home should be the norm as far as possible for offices, it said, adding, aggressive communication on COVID appropriate behaviour must continue.
While stressing on ensuring continuity in economic activities, the CII said utmost precautionary measures should be taken to avoid mass congregations of people and social activities.
CII Southern Regional Chairman C K Ranganathan said ensuring continuity and sustainability of businesses during the ongoing COVID crisis was extremely important, especially for MSMEs.
CII is working with the State Government towards Business Continuity and supporting MSME’s to overcome the economic downturn by facilitating cross sector initiatives and policy interventions.