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Industry Body Suggests Graded Approach To Permissible Economic Activity

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Wednesday wrote to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and suggested a graded approach to permissible economic activity “which balances lives and livelihoods”.

“Four levels of permissible economic activity based on conducting a minimum number of tests to arrive at a reliable total positivity rate in a district. A trend of two weeks below the threshold is required to move to a lower risk level which is equated with higher economic activity,” read the letter by the FICCI.

“However, one week of an increasing trend will trigger a stricter restriction on economic activity. There should also be surveillance testing on a continuous basis, even if a number of cases come down sharply, for example at points of entry (airport, railway station) where a certain number of people should be randomly tested,” the letter added.

Putting forth the suggestion for the second level, the FICCI said while certain categories of units such as those producing essential goods, export-oriented units, continuous process industries and those connected to national security are permitted to operate at all times, they are encouraged to create an ”isolation bubble” for their workforce which reduces the risk of the virus spreading.

“Similarly, any unit which is able to create an isolation bubble should be allowed to operate at all times even if it does not qualify as an essential, continuous process,” the FICCI said.

“Acknowledging that vaccination is essential to keep the virus under check, it suggested that units which have vaccinated at least 60 per cent of the workforce with a single dose will be exempt from restrictions with their employees sticking to the COVID-appropriate behaviours,” it said.

The FICCI said, “On the fourth level, high touch point non-essential sectors like leisure activities, retail, etc., will only be permitted in a minimal risk situation (total positivity rate below 2.5 per cent). This restriction will prevail until a significant part of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose.”


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