A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an extension of the nationwide lockdown to May 3, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notification with a new list of activities allowed under the lockdown starting April 20. Auto manufacture, that was touted to be included, however, is not on the list.
The Ministry of Commerce had earlier written to the Ministry of Home Affairs with suggestions to widen the scope of activities allowed within the lockdown. In its letter, the Ministry of Commerce deemed the activities “essential to improve the economic activity (sic) and provide liquidity in the hands of the people”. The Ministry of Commerce had proposed big industries such as automotive manufacturing could commence operations with 20-25 percent capacity in a single shift.
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ (SIAM) estimates, each day of lockdown costs the Indian auto industry a Rs 2,300 crore loss of turnover. India’s automakers ceased production over the month of March, before the nationwide lockdown originally came into force on March 23, 2020.
The latest lockdown extension will likely delay the deadline for BS4 vehicle registration and also defer the window for sale available to automotive retailers to sell remaining BS4 stock.