FMCG major Britannia Industries on Thursday urged the government to ensure inter-state movement of the raw material for the food processing industry during the three-week lockdown, imposed to prevent pandemic of Covid-19.
The government should issue necessary permits immediately to all people who are part of the food industry supply chain, said Britannia in a statement.
The supply chain includes suppliers of raw materials and packaging materials, food manufacturing factories, factory workers, transporters of materials and finished goods, depots, wholesalers, distributors and their sales persons.
Necessary permits need to be immediately issued to all of them, said Britannia Industries MD Varun Berry.
Supporting the government's effort, he said intervention is required to restore supply chains with immediate effect.
According to him, the food industry supply chain is disaggregated and dependent on inter-state movement of goods. Due to the nature of the materials, inventories across the chain are low.
If even one link in the supply chain is broken, the country could run out of stocks of packaged food in the next 7-10 days, he said.
He further said that it would also ensure that essential food commodities throughout the country, as reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that people don't indulge in panic buying.
Thus, it is imperative that the supply chain for food products be restored in entirety and allowed to function with adequate safety measures and police protection, Berry added.
Food is a declared essential commodity as per the Essential Commodities Act 1955 and the food processing industry has been exempted from the work and movements restrictions imposed at this point in time.
We need support from district authorities in allowing our factory workers to travel to the factory premises with appropriate safeguards, he said adding that this will help the company kick start production and ensure uninterrupted supply of essential packaged foods throughout the country.
On Tuesday, PM Modi had announced a three-week lockdown of the nation to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.