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Home / India News / ‘Allow interstate movement of goods, shops to open and staff to move’: Centre to states

‘Allow interstate movement of goods, shops to open and staff to move’: Centre to states

In separate advisories, the Commerce Ministry asked States and Union Territories to allow food processing companies, retail grocery, retail cash and carry and wholesale, chemists and pharmacies, transport vehicles and interstate movement of good to function unhindered

india Updated: Mar 25, 2020 12:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Police officers stop vehicles and check their papers on a highway during 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kochi, India, March 25, 2020.
Police officers stop vehicles and check their papers on a highway during 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kochi, India, March 25, 2020. (Reuters photo)

The Union Government has advised all states to allow movement of goods and essential items and functioning of factories, units, especially those producing essential commodities without hindrance to prevent panic buying and possible shortages.

In separate advisories, the Commerce Ministry asked States and Union Territories to allow food processing companies, retail grocery, retail cash and carry and wholesale, chemists and pharmacies, transport vehicles and interstate movement of good to function unhindered. The Union Home Ministry has asked all States and Union Territories to set-up control-rooms to ensure “seamless” movement of goods.

The orders follow reports of shops especially medicine, grocery and those dealing with other essential commodities being closed down by local police to ensure a lockdown. The Commerce Ministry has underlined “inconvenience to consumers” must be avoided to “prevent panic buying”. It has also asked states to issue “clear guidelines” to ensure that workers, operators of retail outlets, manufacturing units can travel to “discharge” their “national duty.”

The Union Home Ministry has also asked all states to issue “standard operating protocol” for “unhindered operation” to ensure essential goods and establishments. “This is necessary to ensure continuity of supply chain for essential commodities, several of which may be perishable in nature,” the Ministry of Home Affairs has said.

Finally, the Union Home Ministry has asked all States and Union Territories to set up 24/7 control rooms, helplines, appointing of nodal officers at the state and district levels to ensure there is no hindrance in the movement of goods, transport vehicles and workers.

Earlier on Tuesday evening in a televised address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown of the entire country, as part of the government’s stringent efforts to tackle the Covid-19 disease.

The lockdown will be in place for 21 days and will be more stringent than the Janta Curfew observed on Sunday.

This was the second time in a week when PM Modi addressed the country on the fast-spreading disease.