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UP industries can resume operations now; units within 500 mts from containment zones cannot open


The Uttar Pradesh government has allowed resumption of all industrial activities in non-containment zones in the state in the fourth phase of the coronavirus lockdown till May 31. The state last night issued guidelines after which the industries need not take any permission from any department for opening their units.

Only, the industries within 500 metre distance from containment zone cannot start their units.

The decision is likely to bring much relief to the state’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are struggling with several challenges like migration of labourers, no capital, units shut etc.

The state government has however asked the industries to take full precautions to maintain social distancing amongst workers during their shifts.

The guidelines also mentions that the workers should wear masks, gloves, take time to time temperatures etc to ensure safety.

The Uttar Pradesh government had also last week withdrawn its order directing 12-hour shift for industrial unit workers, against an earlier 8-hour shift, after the Allahabad high court issued a notice to the government.

On May 8, the UP government passed an ordinance relaxing all the provisions related to overtime, intervals for rest, and working hours, as demanded under section 51, 52, 56 and 59 of the Factory Act till July 19, 2020. As per the ordinance, all factories were given clear instructions to engage the workers for 12 hours of shift, instead of 8 hours. Criticizing this move, UP Worker's Front claimed that the order violates the constitutional values.

After analyzing the claims, Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddharth Varma issued a notice to the government, following which the state government withdrew its order.

The official statement revealed that the decision to exempt all the business from almost all labour laws was taken to restart economic activities and business that were badly affected due the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, the increase in the working hours of industrial unit workers was brought in through a separate executive order which has now been revoked. Various trade unions have threatened all several states which include Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, who have made amendments to the labour laws through various ordinances. (KNN Bureau)

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