Guidance, the industrial guidance and export promotion agency of Tamil Nadu state government, has prepared clear set of charts for easy understanding of the industries that can continue to function during the statewide lockdown that is in force now. Confusion over the industries that are permitted or not permitted to function has been one of the major irritants for businesses in most states that have gone into COVID-19 related lockdown in the country.
Tamil Nadu government has said that manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, sanitation, medical materials, oxygen, medical devices, medical textiles, their raw materials, components and their intermediates will also be considered as industries manufacturing essential commodities and hence allowed to operate in the state during lockdown.
Food related, food processing industries including food and poultry, pets and animal husbandry, manufacturing units engaged in the production of agricultural inputs including fertilisers, agricultural machinery and their components, all export units, units which have export commitments or export orders and their vendor units providing inputs to such industries are allowed to operate.
The manufacturing units that supply components or equipment for defence sector, manufacturing units of automobiles and components that are used in defence, agriculture and health sectors and manufacturing units that produce packaging materials for all the above categories have been classified as industries manufacturing essential commodities and hence allowed to function during lockdown.
Guidance also lists out the industries that follow a continuous process and hence cannot be stopped during lockdown. Refineries, large steel products, large cement plants, sugar mills, fertilisers, float glass plants, large foundries with continuous process, tyre manufacturing plants, large paper mills, electronics industries using surface mount technology, automobile manufacturing units with larger foundries and paint shops and large, vertically integrated textile units are the ones permitted to function even during lockdown.
K E Raghunathan, convenor of Consortium of Indian Associations termed the detailed explanation given by the state's Guidance Bureau as excellent.
Incidentally, the state's investment promotion agency has assigned a team of professionals to handle the COVID-19 related issues of the industry and offer necessary support for seamless operations to the manufacturing units that are allowed to function.