Wednesday May 18, 2022

Tyre manufacturers demand exemption from lockdown

By Our Correspondent
April 12, 2020

KARACHI: Tyre manufactures reiterated a demand of traders and industries of exemption from coronavirus-induced lockdown as they are integral part of agriculture supply chain, an industry official said on Saturday.

Hussain Kuli, chief executive officer of General Tyre said Sindh government needs to play its pivotal role for the support of agriculture sector to ensure food security in the country during the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Kuli appreciated the exception from lockdown given to agriculture related activities, including harvesting and use of thrashers, tractors, their repairs/maintenance and manufacturing. “Such measures would be more effective if permission is also granted to agriculture tyre manufacturers as well,” he said in a statement. “This will bolster government efforts to ensure uninterrupted food supply, as tyres are essentials parts of farm tractors and transportation.”

Sindh government imposed lockdown till April 14, but it gave exemptions to a few sectors, including agriculture and related activities, keeping in view the demand for fertiliser, seed, and pesticides for the summer crops (April-June). The decision was taken on request of the growers.

Kharif season began in the province, and if agriculture supply chain remained closed, major crops of the season, including cotton and paddy would not be sown, while vegetable and fruit production would also suffer. Closure of the supply chain would develop food crisis.

Federal ministry of national food security and research last month advised all provincial governments to exempt agriculture supply chain from lockdown to ensure food security in the country and to meet estimated production targets of all crops.

Punjab government also exempted the complete agriculture supply chain from lockdown.

Kuli said government measures in fight against COVID-19 including social distancing and other precautionary standard operating procedures are helpful to contain the spread of disease.

“And we must follow the rules,” he added. “The factory will take all necessary measures if allowed to start production. Therefore, it would take all precautions and measures.”

General Tyre is certified for maintaining its environmental management system as per the standards set and an occupational health and safety management system as per the standards set by the local authorities.

Industrialists last week called on the provincial chief minister and proposed opening of industries. The government agreed that revenues depleted due to the lockdown of industries and customs. Businessmen, during the meeting, underlined an importance of a system to keep the economic engine running.