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Coronavirus: Centre directs states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods & services

Coronavirus: Centre directs states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods & servicesRepresentational Image
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To ensure continuity of supply chains during coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, the Union Government has directed all states to ensure unhindered...

To ensure continuity of supply chains during coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, the Union Government has directed all states to ensure unhindered movement of essential goods and services in states and union territories including inter-state movement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown period to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Union Home Ministry in a letter to chief secretaries of all states and union territories has said, it is necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage and logistics related to all services, and commodities required for the delivery of essential services which have been exempted. Centre said each state and union territory must set up a 24/7 control room with helplines at state and district levels to address any grievance or problems faced by the providers of goods and services.

This is necessary to ensure continuity of the supply chain for essential commodities which include perishable items. Centre has asked states to make the state helpline facility available to ensure adequate protection to essential service providers, government or PSU employees and healthcare workers from unwanted stigmatization.

The ministry said a nodal officer may be appointed in a state to coordinate with the district administration/police in this matter. This is necessary to ensure continuity of the supply chain for essential commodities, several of which may be perishable.

It may also be necessary to lay down a standard operating protocol for unhindered operation of essential services/establishments and commodities including the appointment of nodal officers at inter-state borders, issue of vehicular passes, etc.

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