MHA Clarification on ambiguities in interpretation of essential services

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MHA Clarification on ambiguities in interpretation of essential services   Apr 03, 2020

MHA clarifies 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. States have been advised to inform District authorities and field agencies regarding the Clarifications so as to avoid any ambiguity at the ground level 

In order to further streamline supplies of essential goods, following clarifications are issued:- 
i) Queries have been received as to what constitutes food and grocery. Since it is neither feasible nor desirable to mention each item of food and grocery in the guidelines, the State/UT Governments have been advised to interpret these terms to mean all items of food and grocery that are usually consumed by people on day to day basis.

ii) The State/UT Governments have been advised to issue authorization letters to companies/ organizations having nation-wide supply chains of essential goods, allowing them to issue regional passes for easy movement of critical staff and workers in order to maintain their national supply chains. It has been further advised to keep the numbers of such authorizations bare minimum.

iii) While operations of Railways, Airports and Seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation is allowed under the guidelines, difficulties are being faced in obtaining passes from district authorities in some casesIn order to address such issues and to accelerate unloading and mobility of goods across the country, it has been clarified that the designated authorities under Railways, Ports and Airports be allowed to issue passes for a critical mass of staff and contractual labour that are essential for such operations.

iv) Inter-state and intra-state movement of all trucks and other goods / carrier vehicles, with one driver and one additional person, is allowed as long as the driver is carrying a valid driver’s license. If the truck/ vehicle is travelling empty, invoice, way-bill etc. for delivery or pick up of goods may additionally be carried by the drivers. Movement of driver and one person from their place of residence to truck should also be facilitated by local authorities.

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