We are going through a crisis, unprecedented. The whole mankind is fighting to save the earth from the virus which has spread the seeds of devastation in almost all countries in the world.
As all the nations have turned their attention to contain the spread of Covid-19, and people forced to stay home, the industrial activities have been slowed down and thereby the world economy has been badly hit. It is noteworthy that while compared to other nations, our country, with a population of 1.3 billion has not been severely hit by the pandemic so far, thanks to the timely initiatives by the Govt. of India.
Though most of the industrial establishments and service organisations remain closed due to the lockdown to contain the spread of virus, the port sector - the most important link in the logistic sector, remained functional being an essential service. Cochin Port remained operational during the entire lockdown period by following the SOPs and guidelines of Govt. of India to ensure that the essential supplies to and from this part of the country is not affected. The port facilitated the transport of essential supplies to the Lakshadweep Islands, and also arranged for crew change in international ships in coordination with the statutory organisations.
The non-resident Indians evacuated by Govt. of India in ships are being handled at Cochin Port with due adherence to govt. guidelines. In order to help the logistic sector revive from the severe blow of Covid-19 spread, the Port has already extended various concessions and relaxations to the stakeholders. Though the Port community is gradually limping back to the normalcy, the delay in resumption of international trade in the case of many goods due to industrial slowdown in the our country and in other nations is a matter of concern. Though we hope that the industrial/economic activities in the major trading destinations world over would be back on tracks in few months and our financial situation would improve, currently there is a financial crisis looming large on us. Hence, at this juncture, we are forced to introduce some austerity measures including deferment of certain employee benefits, to tide over the crisis.
I am sure everyone in Cochin Port family would understand the precarious situation and cope with the changing scenario. I urge all my colleagues to stay healthy, adhere to all social outstanding measures, and work towards quick revival from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. M. Beena IAS