Construction likely to resume from mid-June; strong case for vaccine priority to migrant workforce: ASSOCHAM

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

New Delhi, 01st June 2021:
With several states easing restrictions on lockdowns, the employment intensive construction industry should witness resumption in operations by the middle of June, though at a curtailed level, apex industry chamber ASSOCHAM has pointed out.
 
“We expect to see resumption at construction sites of roads and residential buildings from June 15, though several states like the national capital have permitted such activities from June 1 with Covid 19 guidelines,” said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr Deepak Sood.
 
He said it would take about two weeks for the contractors to put together again the material and manpower at the sites after disruptions of about 40 days in major states like Delhi, Maharashtra, UP, Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana, among others.
 
“The major challenge is bringing back the construction workers, most of whom have gone to their native places in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan during the lockdowns,” Mr Sood said.
 
He said though steady decline in fresh coronavirus cases should restore confidence of the workforce, ''it would take extra effort to give them a sense of safety. Fast vaccination of the labour force would be a big morale booster for them and their families''.
 
The ASSOCHAM would urge upon the state governments to place migrant labourers, wanting to return back to big cities, priority in vaccination. ''We would also urge the Centre to give special vaccine allocations for the construction workers. Not only would it help faster restoration of economic activities in the construction industry employing about 40 million people, but also be a great move towards equity in vaccination".
 
Resumption in construction would also kickstart several other industries such as cement, steel, PVC pipes and cables and electricals, the chamber said. ''In fact, the resumption should be facilitated before the onset of the rainy season,'' Mr Sood said.
 
He said the construction industry was amongst the fastest growing in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020-21, registering an expansion of 14.5 per cent. A large part of the growth was pent up demand.
 
Mr Sood said he would expect early resumption in government projects like national highways, expressways, buildings under different flagship schemes. The National Highways Authority of India, like after the first wave, is expected to lead the way again as the second wave loses sting.
 
 However, contractors, especially in the mid-size segments would urgently need working capital support, which must be extended to them by the banks. ''Banks should also see how SME construction firms can be accommodated in flagship schemes like Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme," the ASSOCHAM Secretary General said. 
 
 
About ASSOCHAM:
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. It was established by promoter Chambers, representing all regions of India. Having in its fold over 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India. ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the Knowledge Based Economy. More information available on www.assocham.org
 
For further details, please contact:
 
Manju Negi  
AVDHESH SHARMA         
ASSOCHAM
ASSOCHAM
#+919810910911
#+918527639419
 
Back to news lists