The Arunachal Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACC&I) has asked the state government not to extend the COVID-19 lockdown in the state after August 3, ensure automatic renewal of statutory licenses and allow the return of the staff of the business establishments.
In a memorandum to the chief secretary on Friday, ACC&I President Tarh Nachung said the business community has fully cooperated with the government during the lockdown phases, contributed generously to combating the virus and provided materials to frontline workers.
“The traders, entrepreneurs and daily-wagers were, however, hit hard during the lockdown and they need to start all over again to help the local economy recover,” Nachung said.
“This could be done by not extending the lockdown beyond August 3,” Nachung added.
With no support from the government, the business community in the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) has been struggling on a daily basis. As a majority of the people in the ICR depends on the business community, it is important that their wellbeing is taken care of, he said.
“The world has to live with coronavirus until it finds a cure or vaccine,” he further said.
“In such a scenario, the extension of lockdown would be detrimental for the wellbeing of the business community as well as for the people of the state,” Nachung added in his representation.
ACC&I, the state’s apex body of traders, is of the opinion that lockdown will do more damage than the solution it is assumed to provide, he said, appealing to the government to go for Unlock with certain exceptions for containment zones.
The ACC&I reminded the government that trading license, food license, pollution certificate, factory license, bar license, etc., have not been automatically renewed as agreed upon earlier.
“As the government has not reciprocated in the matter, it is requested for issuing the directives to do the same at the earliest,” Nachung said.
The ACC&I also requested the government to let all the employees of the business establishments return for increasing the output.
Stockists, wholesalers, distributors, food and automobile sectors in particular need to bring in their skilled and unskilled staff in conformation with the laid-down procedure of quarantine and in adherence to the SOPs, it added.
The other issues underlined by the chamber were the adoption of home quarantine model for COVID-19 positive patients, an end to “undue harassment of the business community and complete lack of coordination between the police and civil administration”.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for the business community to deliver under such duress without any government aid and support in such trying times,” Nachung said.
“If it continues unabated, the ACC&I will be forced to look for democratic alternatives,” Nachung added.