Industries allowed to resume operations with residential workers

Kathmandu, April 2

The government today decided to allow resumption of operations of industrial establishments manufacturing essential products if they met certain conditions.

Industries manufacturing foodstuff and other essential items could do so by assigning residential workers and by meeting health standards, said the government’s Spokesperson and Minister of Finance, Communications and Information Technology Yubaraj Khatiwada while talking to mediapersons after a meeting of the high-level committee for the prevention and control of novel coronavirus this evening.

He said even industries not producing essential items but wanting to resume operations could do so by employing only residential workers and meeting health standards. “Local administration will facilitate the industries in this regard,” said Khatiwada.

As for big infrastructure projects, such as Upper Tamakoshi and Melamchi, many workers are residential and site based. Therefore, such projects can also resume operations by only employing residential workers, not allowing other workers from outside.

Since this is the time of harvesting winter crop and sowing summer crop, those involved in farming could be involved in such activities without employing outside workers, only utilising local and family labour, added Khatiwada.

As far as those stuck at border points are concerned, the government decided to continue with the decision to keep them in quarantine for 14 days in the respective territories of both India and Nepal.

On the controversial procurement of medical equipment from China, Khatiwada said the government would investigate the incident and bring out facts. He said the government realised that it would be better to go for a government-to-government deal for procurement, so the government was exploring such an option.

“We decided to assign a private firm considering the fact that G2G with neighbouring India and China, both facing COVID-19 crisis, would not be feasible,” said Khatiwada.

On the 10th day of the lockdown, the government decided to relax restrictions on vehicles ferrying essential items such as medicines, foodstuff and fuel, to ensure they are not in short supply in the market. The government also decided to regularly keep records of import and domestic manufacturing of such products.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 03, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.