Mumbai, April 14 (Reuters) – India’s richest state Maharashtra will impose stringent curbs on industry and e-commerce for 15 days to slow rising coronavirus infections, its chief minister said on Tuesday, a move that is set to cripple manufacturing and other businesses in the region.
On Tuesday, state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered most establishments and public places will be closed in the state except those which are deemed essential, including grocery shops, hospitals, banks and stock exchanges.
“All factories/industries” barring some export-oriented units and those making items needed for essential services “must stop their operations”, a government notification said.
Maharashtra, will be under lockdown from Wednesday night for 15 days to slow rising coronavirus infections, its chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday.
“Livelihoods are important, but life is more important. We need to increase existing restrictions,” Thackeray said.
The restrictions will jolt businesses in Maharashtra but also risk having a broader impact on the Indian economy. The state accounts for nearly 15% of India’s gross domestic product, making it crucial for the country’s economic recovery after months of slowdown.
Maharashtra had already shut down restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres and non-essential stores last week, a move some industry groups had warned will cause economic losses of billions of dollars.
The more stringent restrictions announced on Tuesday said no one should “move in public places without valid reasons” and all public places and non-essential services will remain closed.
Shooting of films and advertisements will also be closed in the state which is home to India’s Bollywood film industry.