More sectors exempted from 21-day lockdown

New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Wednesday issued an addendum to the guidelines issued on Tuesday regarding 21-day lockdown, and named additional categories of essential goods and services exempted under the Disaster Management Act.

The order has been issued to Ministries, central government departments, states as well as Union Territories and the authorities concerned for their implementation.

According to addendum, Pay and Accounts offices, financial advisers and field offices of the Controller General of Accounts will be exempted from the lockdown. Customs clearance at ports, airports, land border and GSTN with bare minimum staff has also been allowed to function.

The list also includes the Reserve Bank of India, RBl-regulated financial markets and entities, like NPCI, CCIL, payment system operators and standalone primary dealers.

The Resident Commissioners of states in Delhi have also been exempted from the restrictions to coordinate Covid-19 related activities and internal kitchens operations.

Forest offices employees required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire fighting, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement have also been exempted.

Social welfare departments has been exempted for operation of homes for children, disables, senior citizens, destitute widows and pensioners. The exemption has also been provided to veterinary hospitals, pharmacies (including Jan Aushadhi Kendra) and pharmaceutical research labs.

Banking Correspondent, ATM operation and cash management agencies, shops for seeds and pesticides have also been exempted. Data and call centres have been also exempted for government activities only.

Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceutical, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates, coal and mineral production, transportation, supply of explosives and activities incidental to mining operations, manufacturing units of packaging material for food items, drugs, pharmaceutical and medical devices have also been exempted.

Operations of railways, airports and seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation and their related operational organisations have also been included in the category that will be provided exemption from the lockdown.

Inter-state movement of goods, cargo for inland and exports, cross-land border movement of essential goods, including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical supplies have also been added to the list.

As per Tuesday guideline, all central, state and UT government offices, autonomous institutions, public corporations, commercial, private, industrial establishments were ordered to be shut.

It allowed fair price shops, and those dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, animal fodder to remain open. Banks, insurance offices, print and electronic media will also remain open, according to the guidelines.

“In case of funerals, congregations of not more than 20 people will be permitted,” it said.

Hospitality services and educational institutions will remain suspended during the period. But hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, accommodating tourists and people stranded due to the lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew have been exempted.

Defence, the central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities, including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG, disaster management, power, warning agencies, the police, home guards, fire and emergency services, district administration and treasury, electricity, water, sanitation, and municipal bodies (only staff required for essential services) have been exempted from lockdown.

These offices should work with minimum number of employees while all other offices will work from home, it said.

District Magistrates should deploy executive magistrates as incident commander to oversee overall implementation of these measures, it said

To ensure strict implementation of these measures, the government has invoked Sections 51-60 of the Disaster Management of Act, which mandates up to two years of imprisonment for any violation by individuals, companies or officials involved in implementation.


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