Mumbai News

Covid-19 scare in Mumbai: Corporate offices down shutters, factories now on remote control – Times of India

MUMBAI: Manufacturers of nonessential commodities are gearing up to comply with the fresh office shutdown directive to help flatten the Covid-19 curve, even as inventories may begin to pile up.
Bombay House, the iconic headquarters of the Tata Group, has temporarily downed shutters in compliance with the state directive. Aditya Birla Group, which has its offices in Mumbai, too has asked people to work from home.
Punit Makharia, chairman, Shree Pushkar Chemicals & Fertilisers, said the company’s daily working will be impacted as incoming and outgoing shipments will slow down, along with finished products at the factory. “But, we have taken sufficient measures to ensure that our productivity does not take a huge hit. We have stocked up essential resources at our plant, to keep work going in the coming days. Furthermore, to maintain our day-to-day operations, we have built an elaborate team system, wherein different teams have been assigned to perform tasks from home,” said Pushkar, adding that the company will be running its factory, located 250 km from the city, remotely. “We have taken steps to ensure safety of all our employees,” said Pushkar.
Arjun Vaidyanathan, chief operating officer, KPMG in India, said, “As per the government’s directive, we have issued communication internally to our employees to work from home until March 31, and refrain from visiting our offices or client locations. Our IT systems are well equipped for our employees to continue working remotely and in case any IT support is required, it will be catered to by our teams in the other locations.. We are continuously monitoring the situation.”
Ramesh Chauhan, chairman, Bisleri International, said since workplaces in Mumbai contribute about 25% of Bisleri’s water sales. “this may get impacted with people working from home”.
Tax and corporate law advocate Mohamed Nawaz Haindaday said provisions should be made for taking care of employee interests. “Lockdown at the cost of employees losing on salaries and related benefits should not be allowed. Corporate houses will not suffer if salaries are paid, but employees will definitely suffer if they are at home without pay,” he said. “Appropriate relief in terms of extension of time limit under section 139 (4) of the I-T Act, the March 31 deadline under the Vivad se Vishwas rules, GST law et al – time-bound compliance by the financial year end – all need to be extended.”

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