News detail

Govt Greenlights Limited Reboot

The Centre on Wednesday set the ball rolling for a limited resumption of economic activity outside Covid-19 containment zones, particularly in industrial zones and rural areas, while prescribing strict workplace norms and permits that businesses need to follow to commence operations from April 20.

The Centre on Wednesday set the ball rolling for a limited resumption of economic activity outside Covid-19 containment zones, particularly in industrial zones and rural areas, while prescribing strict workplace norms and permits that businesses need to follow to commence operations from April 20.

Though instructions have been issued under the Disaster Management Act, Union home secretary A K Bhalla’s order to states and Union territories makes it clear that the “additional activities” will be “operationalised” by state and local authorities “based on strict compliance of existing guidelines on lockdown measures”. The extended lockdown is to be reviewed to allow areas where hotspots have been contained or have been prevented from emerging after a week on April 20.

The restarting of MNREGA and the relatively lower degree of curbs in rural areas (largely unaffected or with low incidence of Covid-19) are intended to get the rural economy moving again, said a ministry of home affairs spokesperson. The norms set out for SEZs and industrial centres are a move to experiment with conditional reopening and may well become more permanent features in the future.

The resumption of these activities will be subject to adherence to social distancing norms at workplaces, including mandatory wearing of masks by all workers, regular sanitisation of common surfaces, and staggered workshifts with even limits on people attending a meeting or getting into a lift, the home ministry said. No mass transport, even inter-district, is allowed. The lockdown is tougher in containment areas.

© 2020 SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHERS | All rights reserved.