Maruti not to resume production despite permission from the authorities

Earlier, the Haryana government issued a permission certificate to the company saying the “authorised strength” of the company during the lockdown period would be 4,696 persons and 50 vehicles

Exactly a month after the Maruti Suzuki India Limited shut down its production and office operations across Haryana, the company’s Manesar plant was on April 22 granted the permission to resume operations in a single shift with restricted number of staff and vehicles. But the company’s chairman R.C. Bhargava ruled out actual production unless the vendors and the retail outlets were open.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Bhargava said it was good that the government granted permission and would help them prepare for the future, but there “is no way we can start production”. He said that it was not known as to how long it might take for the production to start as the situation changed every day.

“Cars cannot be produced until all components are produced on a steady and regular basis. And this means thousands of vendors have to start production. It is not likely to happen today because many of them are in red zones or containment zones. We cannot get the complete set of components. The retail outlets have not been opened yet. There is no permission. So you cannot produce unless you can sell,” said Mr. Bhargava.

He said the permission from the government was only one part of the problem, and the company could not start producing cars only because it had the permission to do so.

Earlier, the Haryana government issued a permission certificate to the company saying the “authorised strength” of the company during the lockdown period would be 4,696 persons and 50 vehicles. However, the certificate also said the application was recommended for permission to operate for 600 employees.

Additional Chief Secretary V.S. Kundu, said the company could resume operations after they put in place all measures for social distancing and safe management of the workers.

However, the Maruti Suzuki’s decision to not to start production would be a big blow to the plans of several Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, mostly vendors of the company, to resume operations.

Manesar Industries Welfare Association vice-president Manmohan Gaind said in case the Maruti Suzuki and the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Limited didn’t start production the other factories down the chain would have no reason to resume production because they are dedicated suppliers to them. He said it would defeat the whole idea of starting things in a small way that the Union government wanted.

Mr. Gaind demanded that the local administration grant generous permission to open the ecosystem so that all industries, except those in containment zone or those not allowed under the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, can resume their operations.

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