Big packaging and print companies in Maharashtra’s red zone

Limited industrial activity may start in state’s green and orange zones

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lockdown
Maharashtra may be divided into three zones for gradual reopening of industry

The government of Maharashtra has decided to extend the current lockdown till 30 April 2020. However, according to reports, the government may give some relaxations to areas less affected by COIVD-19. The central government has also extended the lockdown till 3 May with the caveat that some relaxation may be allowed after 20 April. A detailed guideline on how lockdown relaxation will be implemented will be issued by the central government on 15 April 2020.

Meanwhile, various local media reports suggest that the Maharashtra state government is looking to divide the state into three zones – red, orange, and green. Rajesh Tope, minister of health, the government of Maharashtra, on 13 April 2020, said that the division, based on the number of COVID-19 cases, could be done to identify areas where economic activities can be resumed.

The state government is likely to identify green zones as those areas where no cases have been reported so far. Orange zones would be those areas where there have been less than 15 positive cases, and red zones would be areas where more than 15 cases have been reported.

According to Tope, Bhandara, Gadhchiroli, Chandrapur, Wardha, Parbhani, Nanded, Nandurbar, and Solapur districts have recorded no cases and could fall in the green zone. Amravati, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Satara, Osmanabad, Hingoli, Jalna, Washim, Beed, Dhule, Gondhiya, Yavatmal districts can come under the orange zone. Mumbai city, Mumbai suburban, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Aurangabad, Pune, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Raigad districts would be in the red zone, as they have a high number of cases.

Limited industrial activities could be allowed to start in the green and orange zones. The government of Maharashtra may allow micro, small and medium industries in these two zones provided they continue to follow social distancing. However, a clearer picture will emerge after the central government issues guidelines come out on 15 April.

Impact on the printing and packaging industry not clear 

Since major industrial areas of the state fall in the red zone, it is still unclear what impact the new guidelines will have on the printing and packaging industry in Maharashtra.

As previously reported by Packaging South Asia, some important companies in the state have not been operational since the lockdown started on 25 March. Mumbai-based Mudrika Labels is completely shut while another Mumbai-based company JK Labels is also not functioning.

Also, as previously reported by Packaging South Asia, Bobst India’s plant near Pune is also shut since 23 March. Essel Propak, however, by taking extensive precautions and as an essential services operation, has been running its plant in Vapi, although not at full capacity.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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