Revised Guidelines: Govt relaxes Lockdown norms from Apr 20, but with riders

Know.. what is permitted, what is not


New Delhi: A day after the Prime Minister’s announcement on lockdown extension, union home ministry has issued the revised guidelines for the lockdown.

According to the revised guidelines, the government has permitted opening of several crucial sectors of the economy including the Agriculture sector, Rural small and medium scale industrial units, labour intensive sectors, selected mining and Industrial units, Export oriented units, e-commerce units etc from April 20. These economic activities can be carried out after maintaining adequate safeguards and social distancing norms.

“…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 revised guidelines.

Farming operations, including procurement of agricultural products, agriculture marketing through notified Mandis and direct and decentralized marketing, manufacture, distribution and retail of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds; activities of marine and inland fisheries; animal husbandry activities, including the supply chain of milk, milk products, poultry and live-stock farming; and tea, coffee and rubber plantations are allowed to be functional.

The government has permitted transportation of goods without any distinction of essential or non essential.

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 labor, including the migrant labor force.

Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control have been permitted 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 are also allowed. Coal, mineral and oil production are permitted activities.

With a view to provide enough liquidity and credit support to the industrial sectors, RBI, banks. ATMs, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI and insurance companies will also remain functional, the guidelines read.

Accordingly, e-commerce operations, operations of IT and IT enabled services, data and call centres for Government activities, and online teaching and distance learning are all permitted activities now.

Meanwhile, the activities prohibited across the country include travel by air, rail and road; operation of educational and training institutions: industrial and commercial activities; hospitality services: all cinema halls. Shopping  complexes, theatres, etc.; all social, political and other events; and opening of all religious places/ places of worship for members of public, including religious congregations.

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