Key relief measures provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to mitigate the impact of pandemic COVID-19

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The Key Relief measures provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to mitigate the impact of pandemic COVID-19.

• The Government has framed consolidated guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries/ departments, State and UT Governments for containment of pandemic COVID-19 in the country. The guidelines specify what all services/ establishments can continue to work during the lockdown period with bare minimum staff and the activities that are suspended till further notice. These guidelines are amended from time to time.

• The Government has decided to extend the lockdown period till 3rd May 2020 to control the spread of pandemic COVID-19 in the country. Thus, the lockdown measures stipulated in the consolidated guidelines of MHA will continue to remain in force till 3rd May 2020.

• To mitigate the hardship to the public, select additional activities have been allowed from 20th April 2020 such as all health services including AYUSH, agricultural and related activities, financial sector, social sector, MNREGA works, public utilities, movement/ loading/ unloading of goods/ cargo (inter and Intra State), among others. Regular clarifications/ updates are issued from time to time regarding the select additional activities that have been allowed to resume.

• The Government has constituted six Inter-Ministerial Teams to make an assessment of the current COVID-19 situation and augment State efforts to fight and contain spread of COVID-19 effectively.

• The Government has directed all States and UTs to implement lockdown guidelines in letter & spirit to ensure smooth movement of inter & intrastate cargo, trucks, workers, and functioning of warehouse/cold storages, as it has come to the notice of the Ministry that in some parts of the country the guidelines are not being implemented.

• The Government has reiterated the various guidelines to be observed strictly by the authorities at various levels including the inter-state and intra-state movement of all trucks, movement of truck drivers and cleaners, allowing Empty trucks/ goods carriers to operate, easy to and fro movement of workers to workplace, smooth functioning of warehouses/ cold storage, smooth functioning of MSMEs engaged in the manufacture of essential items, among others.

• An addendum to the consolidated guidelines exempt from lockdown restrictions the operations of the Fishing (Marine)/Aquaculture Industry, including feeding and maintenance, harvesting, processing, packaging, cold chain, sale, and marketing; hatcheries, feed plants, commercial aquaria, movement of fish/ shrimp and fish products, fish seed/feed and workers for all these activities.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs, in a continued effort, has written to all State Chief Secretaries to take urgent steps to ensure the availability of essential goods, by invoking provisions of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act 1955. These measures include fixing of stock limits, capping of prices, enhancing production, an inspection of accounts of dealers, and other such actions.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to all State Chief Secretaries clarifying on ground level issues being faced by States in ensuring smooth flow of supply chain of essential items during national lockdown to fight COVID-19. The clarification concerns daily essentials, laboratories, operations of Railways, Airports, and Seaports for cargo movement, interstate and intra-state movement of all trucks and other goods, among others.

• An addendum to the consolidated guidelines exempts from lockdown restrictions the shops of agricultural machinery, its spare parts (including its supply chain) and repair; truck repair shops on highways, preferably at fuel pumps; and Tea industry, including plantations with a maximum of 50% workers.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to States to ensure Smooth Harvesting and Sowing Operations, while maintaining Social Distancing, during 21-day Lockdown to fight pandemic COVID-19.

• The Government has exempted specific services from lockdown restrictions such as direct marketing of agricultural produce, food & nutrition support to children, women, lactating mothers by Anganwadi workers and medical services & drug manufacturing under AYUSH category.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to States/UTs to ensure smooth Disbursal of Money to beneficiaries of PM-GKY during 21-day Lockdown to fight pandemic COVID-19.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to all States/ UTs to ensure compliance of Supreme Court directions on Welfare of Migrant Labourers housed at Relief Shelters/Camps including adequate medical facilities besides proper arrangements for food, clean drinking water and sanitation, among others.

Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB)

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