Published On : Wed, Mar 25th, 2020

Let food processing units work: Centre to states

The Centre has asked all states and Union Territories (UTs) not to obstruct or close food processing units, and maintain uninterrupted supply amid lockdown in the country due to coronavirus outbreak. In a communication to all chief secretaries of states and administrators of all UTs, secretary in the department for promotion of industry and internal trade Guruprasad Mohapatra has also urged to allow workers and operators at retail outlets, pharmacies, manufacturing units to travel to their units.

It added that for the consumer items to be readily available in the market, all food processing companies should be allowed to keep their manufacturing facilities open under the strictest of safety and hygiene guidelines and any executive order or section 144 restrictions should include the exemption of these units, distribution and sales channels servicing the food and beverage market, including food delivery services.

The secretary also asked to give due permission to transport vehicles carrying raw material, intermediaries to and from the food processing units. “Clear advisory to ensure inter-state movement of goods for the food processing industry to ensure uninterrupted movement and supply of goods and services; specifically for e-commerce, food processing, delivery boys, and Movement of trucks,” the letter said.

Further, it has instructed to permit open all retail, grocery, organised trade, including cash and carry and wholesale, chemist and pharmacies, in order to avoid inconvenience to consumers and also to prevent panic buying. –