(Eds: adding official quotes) Mumbai, May 15 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, some of his cabinet colleagues and NCP president Sharad Pawar on Friday discussed the coronavirus situation in the state and possible resumption of economic activities in some regions.
The meeting came two days ahead of the end of the current phase of lockdown on May 17.
Thackeray, who heads a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government, held a review meeting about 'current status of lockdown, the state's planning for the next phase and resumption of economic activities in some parts,' an official statement said.
'MP Sharad Pawar Saheb took review of the economic package declared by the Centre, problems of migrant workers, employment and industries related issues even as discussion was held to decide policy direction,' the NCP tweeted.
Industrial/businesses activities were resumed in orange and green zones of Maharashtra after April 20.
The government statement informed that permissions had been given to start 65,000 industries, while 35,000 industries have started operations and nine lakh workers have returned to work.
With migrant workers heading for their home states, the labour bureau has been activated to help the industries (find replacement workers), the statement said.
Except West Bengal, migrant workers are being sent to their states by trains, it added.
The electricity usage by industrial units in Maharashtra has gone up by 50 per cent (compared to that in the initial phase of complete lockdown), it said.
'In the meeting, discussion was also held about filling vacant posts in the health department and requirement of medical equipment,' the government said.
'The discussions were held about areas where restrictions can be relaxed and how to observe restrictions in red and containment zones,' it added.
Pawar mentioned in the meeting the letter he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking help for crisis-hit sugar industry.
The Maharashtra government has expressed its intention to extend till May 31 the lockdown in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad and Malegaon which have emerged as COVID-19 hotspots.
Besides Thackeray and Pawar, the meeting was attended by Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, among others. PTI ENM RSY KRK KRK