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Home / India / Phase 2 lockdown guidelines: Agri, IT, e-commerce to open up, but public transport to stay shut

Phase 2 lockdown guidelines: Agri, IT, e-commerce to open up, but public transport to stay shut

The aim is to operate those sectors of the economy which are critical for rural and agricultural development and job creation while maintaining social distancing protocols
In this April 8, 2020, file photo, a health worker checks a woman's temperature during the nationwide lockdown in Ahmedabad.
In this April 8, 2020, file photo, a health worker checks a woman's temperature during the nationwide lockdown in Ahmedabad.
(AP)

Our Bureau And Agencies   |   New Delhi   |   Published 15.04.20, 05:08 AM

Fresh stay-at-home guidelines issued on Wednesday indicated that the government would allow operations in agriculture, IT and e-commerce after April 20 in safe areas to “mitigate hardships” of the people but all public transport will be shut during the second phase of the nationwide lockdown.

Inter-state, inter-district movement of people, metro, bus services will continue to be prohibited till May 3, when the second phase of the lockdown, declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, ends.

The ministry of home affairs guidelines said that educational institutions, coaching centres, domestic, international air travel, train services will also remain suspended till this time, according to reports in PTI and news television channels.

Fresh stay-at-home guidelines issued on Wednesday indicated that the government would allow operations in agriculture, IT and e-commerce after April 20 in safe areas to “mitigate hardships” of the people but all public transport will be shut during the second phase of the nationwide lockdown.

Inter-state, inter-district movement of people, metro, bus services will continue to be prohibited till May 3, when the second phase of the lockdown, declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, ends.

The ministry of home affairs guidelines said that educational institutions, coaching centres, domestic, international air travel, train services will also remain suspended till this time, according to reports in PTI and news television channels.

Spitting in public has been made a punishable offence and a strict ban will be enforced on sale of liquor, gutka, tobacco. Grocery stores, fruits, vegetables shops/ carts, milk booths, poultry, meat and fish shop to remain open during lockdown.

Services provided by self-employed electrician, IT repairs, plumbers, motor mechanics, carpenters to allowed from April 20.

All public places will continue to be closed. Cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, bars will also be shut till May 3.

“All social, political, sports, religious functions, religious places, places of worship shall be closed for public till May 3,” the guidelines said.

But sectors of the economy crucial for job creation and rural agriculture would be opened up gradually in areas not declared Covid-19 hotspots.

'The revised consolidated guidelines are aimed at operating those sectors of the economy which are critical from the perspective of rural and agricultural development and job creation, while maintaining strict protocols in areas where safety is paramount to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country,' said the guidelines, according to ndtv.com.

Farming operations, including procurement of agricultural products and agriculture marketing through notified mandis and direct and decentralised marketing will be allowed in “safe” areas.

The supply chain of milk, milk products, poultry and live-stock farming and tea, coffee and rubber plantations will also resume.

'To provide an impetus to the rural economy, industries operating in rural areas, including food processing industries; construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and industrial projects in rural areas; works under MNREGA, with priority to irrigation and water conservation works; and operation of rural Common Service Centres (CSCs) have all been allowed. These activities will create job opportunities for rural labour, including the migrant labour force,” the guidelines said.

Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control will be allowed in SEZs, EoUs, industrial estates and industrial townships after implementation of SOP for social distancing. Manufacture of IT hardware and of essential goods and packaging can also resume.

However, the exemptions given from April 20 will not be applicable in COVID-19 hotspots/ containment zones and the State/ UT governments shall not dilute guidelines in any manner but may impose stricter measures as per local requirements.

The home ministry said permitted industries must make arrangements for stay of workers within their premises or adjacent buildings by observing social distancing norms.

Also, defence, paramilitary, health and family welfare, disaster management, NIC, FCI, NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Customs offices will function without any restriction.

Other ministries and departments are to function with '100 per cent attendance' with deputy secretary and above rank officers. 'Remaining officers and staff to attend up to 33 per cent as per requirement,' it said.

The guidelines said in order to mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities will be allowed from April 20. 'However, these additional activities will be operationalised by states and UTs and district administrators based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines on lockdown measures,' it said.

The nation-wide lockdown is aimed to contain the spread of the pandemic that has killed over 370 people and infected over 11,000 in the country.



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