The Delhi government's panel for economic recovery from COVID-19 on Wednesday decided to emphasise on revisiting licensing norms, reviving demand and simplifying pandemic-related regulations as an immediate focus to boost businesses.
In its first meeting, the committee took a decision to adopt a "survive, revive, thrive" approach to tide over the economic cost of the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the viral infection.
According to a government statement, the immediate focus in next three to six months will be on ensuring the survival of businesses and industry sectors by revisiting licensing norms, simplifying COVID related regulations and taking measures to revive demand.
In the medium term, that is the next three years, the committee will focus on revival of the business environment by accelerating pending reforms related to ease of doing business in Delhi, it said.
By opening up early and putting a robust healthcare strategy in place, the Delhi government has set right conditions for economic recovery, said Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission vice-chairman Jasmine Shah who chaired the meeting.
He said, "By working together with industry stakeholders, the Delhi government is keen to come out stronger from the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic."
The committee for comprehensive analysis and suggestion regarding measures to be initiated by the government to help people and business in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic was formed last week on the recommendations of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal.
"At a time when many Indian cities are still oscillating between locking and unlocking, Delhi's firm focus on economic revival shows the tremendous progress we have made so far," Shah said.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from trade, industry and restaurant sectors, and senior government officers.
Several industry members expressed the urgency of taking measures to revive demand with specific steps like permitting outdoor sitting and extending hours of operations for restaurants.
They also recommended a joint effort among stakeholders at individual market-level by setting up control rooms to monitor social distancing and sanitisation protocols to instil confidence among consumers.
The meeting was also attended by Mekin Maheshwari, co-founder of Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship who presented the work of the National Task Force on MSME Transformation constituted by it.
Based on the deliberations and inputs from various members of the Committee, it was decided that the panel will adopt the "Survive, Revive, Thrive" approach to chart the roadmap for economic recovery in Delhi, according to the Delhi government statement.
Gyanesh Bharti, the commissioner of South Delhi Municipal Corporation highlighted that the civic body has already initiated the process for an automatic extension of all existing licenses issued by local bodies up to March 30, without interest or penalty.
The commissioner of industries also shared with the panel the progress made by his department in providing moratorium on lease rent on land issued by DSIIDC as well as a major reduction in the interest rate on penalties.
In the long term, providing a thriving business environment on par with global cities was a vision that the committee agreed to work towards.
Identifying and consolidating sunrise sectors such as tourism, hospitality, entertainment and knowledge-based industries and providing a thriving atmosphere for startups were some of the measures discussed at the meeting, added the statement.