Ministers back in offices as Centre debates lockdown decision

The home ministry has been asked to look into the possibility of letting a select group of industries resume production to revive economic activity hit by Covid-19 lockdown.
The HRD minister back at his office.
The HRD minister back at his office.
Updated on Apr 13, 2020 12:38 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

A day before the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19 ends, some government staff resumed office after an order by the Centre.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is one such government department where senior officials and other essential staff resumed operations after more than a fortnight of working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reported news agency PTI.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday visited SAI’s headquarters in New Delhi wearing a mask and sanitised his hands before entering the premises.

“The ministry has started its office with minimum staff because work has to go on. We are ensuring strict compliance of rules like social distancing, wearing masks and temperature checks,” PTI quoted Rijiju as saying.

All ministers were on Saturday asked to resume office from Monday along with joint secretary level officers and one-third of their essential staff.

The Union home ministry, meanwhile, has been asked to look into the possibility of letting a select group of industries resume production to revive economic activity and provide liquidity in the hands of the people.

The recommendation, made by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT), said the home ministry should expand the list of activities that are permitted once the Centre decides how to move on the Covid-19 lockdown. It came up with a list of 12 categories of industries that should be allowed to resume production in the first instance.

PM Modi hasn’t indicated his mind on the subject yet but stressed at his video conference with chief ministers that the government would need to strike a balance between “jaan” (lives) and “jahan” (the outside world). It was interpreted to imply that the restrictions will continue in some form to preserve lives but with relaxations to resume economic activity and preserve livelihoods.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021