Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has exempted at least 38 categories of industries to function during the week-long lockdown to help find a balance between the looming health and economic crisis staring the state and its growth capital.
The B.S.Yediyurappa-led state government had reluctantly ordered the lockdown in Bengaluru urban and rural districts for a week after a surge in cases threatened to aggravate the crisis.
This includes a list of 28 industries classified as essential including rice and oil mills, dairy and food products, bulk drugs, pharmaceuticals, Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine makers, sanitizers, bakery and confectionary, power generation and even those making paper napkins.
Even e-commerce companies for supply of food and grocery have been allowed, according to the notification by Gaurav Gupta, the principal secretary for the Commerce and Industries Department of Karnataka.
“Bengaluru Urban, Rural, Ramanagara, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru Districts are considered as one unit for movement & transportation of people from Bengaluru and vice-versa,” the notification added.
The notification allows units in industrial areas and estates in Bengaluru urban and rural districts to operate as in industrial township.
A set of eight industries that are classified under continuous process industries like steel plants, petroleum refinery, cement, fertilizer and textile among others have also been exempted. At least three other districts in Karnataka including Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad and Yadgir have announced week-long lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus.
Industry bodies had reacted sharply against the decision to go in for another lockdown in Bengaluru that would impact their businesses further and add to their piling losses.
The Peenya Industries Association (PIA) sent out a message to its members asking them to operate even during the lockdown as they were exempted.
“You are requested to operate your industries accordingly during (the) lockdown period,” read a message by Vijar Makal, the secretary of the body.
“There is a confusion on the letter (notification),” said one former office bearer and member of the PIA, requesting not to be named. He said that the industry body will operate all its units since there are no specific restrictions.