Farm workers, agriculture companies exempted from lockdown: Home Ministry

The government has notified procurement agencies like Food Corporation of India, Nafed and other state agencies that buy foodgrains and pulses from farmers at minimum support price under goods and services exempted under the Disaster Management Act to ensure smooth procurement operations ahead of the fresh harvest season.

Apart from that, the government has also allowed intra and inter state transportation of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agricultural and horticultural implements.

New Delhi: The Union home ministry has issued fresh guideline exempting additional categories related to agricultural operations. “They have been exempted under the Disaster Management Act, with respect to the 21- day lockdown,” an order stated.

The second addendum issued by home secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday exempted farm workers in the fields and farming operations by farmers, agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products including MSPs, mandis notified by the state governments, inter and intra-state movement of harvesting and sowing related machines and manufacturing, packaging units of fertilisers, pesticides and seeds, among others.

During the 21 day lockdown, movement of public transport has been restricted while markets, schools, and other establishment have been closed. Only essential services and goods are allowed during the lockdown period.

On Thursday, the home ministry has come up with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for delivery of essential services through ecommerce and asked States and Union Territories to notify measures to specify shops, including ration units dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, milk products, among others, to ensure supplies.

Noting that the availability of essential goods takes place through small local retail shops, large organised retail stores and e-commerce companies, home secretary said the suppliers of essential goods, including restaurants supplying home delivery of cooked food items are exempted.

source: Economictimes

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