I-card carrying delivery staff not to be stopped in lockdown

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Faced with disruptions in supplies and delivery of essential items following the nationwide lockdown announced to contain Covid-19, the Centre plans to issue fresh set of advisories to the states as not to disrupt the movement of people working to deliver medicines, groceries, dairy products and other food items.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has initiated talks with the state Chief Secretaries asking them not to restrict movement of people engaged in home delivery of essential items, mentioned in the list of exempted items circulated by the Home Ministry.

States have been asked to ensure that people making home deliveries should not be harassed or stopped if they carry genuine identity cards issued by their companies. They are also being asked to ensure uninterrupted supply to retailers of essential items to prevent any problem to people due to lockdown.

“We have told e-commerce companies to provide ID cards to their employees that would allow them free movement during lockdown. Also, associations of organised retailers, e-commerce firms and pharmacies have been told to provide a list of their outlets, delivery personnel and supply wares to the state Chief Secretaries to maintain the supply of essential items,” said a DPIIT official.

The state that have shut borders were being asked to allow movement of essential items to maintain supply lines up to retailers.

The move has been triggered by complaints from retailers and e-commerce firms that they were unable to move their goods due to lockdown-related restrictions and harassment of employees.

In fact, several e-commerce entities, dealing with supply of food and other essential items, have not been operating since ‘janata curfew’ on March 22. It has forced people to head and crowd markets to get essential supplies, much against the advisory on social distancing.

“Supply chains will be smoothened in a day or two,” DPIIT Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra told a media outlet.



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