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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Guidelines For Lockdown in Rural Areas, E-commerce Can Start On April 20

Lockdown: Agricultural and related activities will resume fully to generate jobs for daily wagers.

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Highlights

  • Inter-state transport of essential, non-essential items after April 20
  • All air, train and road travel,educational institutes, hotels stay closed
  • PM Modi announced extension of coronavirus lockdown till May 3

Some industries in rural areas will be allowed to reopen after April 20 to reduce hardships for millions because of a prolonged lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus, the government said today, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3 and said restrictions would be relaxed after a week in the least infected parts of India.

The government will also allow farm activities, construction of roads and buildings in rural areas, IT, e-commerce and all inter-state goods transport while keeping in force strong restrictions in hotspots – areas with a large number of COVID-19 cases or showing a rapid rise in infection. PM Modi announced the extended restrictions as India crossed 10,000 coronavirus cases despite a 21-day lockdown.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet on New Government Guidelines for lockdown:

  1. Agricultural and related activities will resume fully to generate jobs for daily wagers and others. Industries operating in rural areas will be allowed with strict social distancing norms.
  2. The inter-state transport of goods, essential and non-essential items, will be allowed after April 20. Highway ”dhabas”, truck repair shops and call centres for government activities can reopen from April 20. So can manufacturing units of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
  3. “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 have all been allowed. These activities will create job opportunities for rural labor, including the migrant labor force,” the guidelines say.
  4. Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control will be allowed 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 can resume.
  5. Coal, mineral and oil production will be allowed.
  6. The Reserve Bank of India, banks, ATMs, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI and insurance companies will also remain functional, to provide liquidity and credit support to the industrial sectors.
  7. The supply of milk, milk products, poultry and livestock farming and tea, coffee and rubber plantations will resume.
  8. The government said the digital economy is critical to the services sector and national growth, so e-commerce, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres for government activities, and online teaching and distance learning are all permitted activities.
  9. Important offices of Central and State Governments and local bodies will remain open with required strength.
  10. All air, train and road travel, educational institutions; industrial and commercial activities, hotels, cinema halls, shopping complexes, theatres stay closed. Social, political and other events, religious centres and gatherings will also not be allowed.

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