Friday, April 10, 2020

Lockdown to continue But……..

by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group

Lockdown to continue But……..
Govt. Mulls opening some services  to  mitigate hardship
 Harish Gupta
 New Delhi, April 9

As the Covid19 cases are mounting by the day after more testing, the Centre is mulling whether to allow some more areas to open for activities in a staggered manner while continuing the lock-down.
Following areas are on the table of the government to open up after April 15 along with sealing of hot-spots and highly vulnerable areas and lock-down in other parts.
On the top of the agenda is to open up Food processing industry as new crop will arrive at the mandis with the harvesting season beginning from April 14. The vegetables and fruits markets alone cannot consume all products.
Whether to allow the e-commerce companies to open supply chain of essential goods and other goods worth Rs 40,000 crores locked down ready for delivery on roads in trucks and factory gates.
While truckers and service centers have  been opened up on the national highways, the roadside lakhs of eateries and related activities continue to remain shut.
Liquor shops, either owned by the state governments or in private sector is a major source of state revenue. Whether they should be opened for limited hours is also an issue on the table though not many are not in its favour.
How to allow the plumbers, electricians and other maintenance activity in a limited manner through permits be allowed.
Whether to allow the hailing taxi apps to operate service for  limited hours  is under consideration. This is coupled with allowing private vehicles with strict plying norms. There is a proposal that odd-even formula be introduced to curtail vehicular activity.
There is a complete No No for the opening of the Metro service and bus service. But three-wheeler with one passenger rule is under consideration.
Mobile shops and outlets of related activities companies be allowed for limited hours.
The agriculture labour and factory workers need to be moved out of their caves and how this should be done is a major issue.
Railway & Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has also advocated opening up of certain essential industries be moved from their caves and need traveling facilities.
As of now, daily grocery and milk & milk products need, fruits & vegetables and agriculture activities have been opened up by the Centre. The medical supply chains also need work force to maintain supply line and e-commerce companies are virtually non-functional.
Reports of death of patients suffering from other ailments as most hospitals are now giving priority to Covid-19 patients
The 11 task forces set up by the Centre are considering various scenarios to be placed before the Group of Ministers headed by Rajnath Singh.