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Centre asks states, UTs not to interrupt, close food processing units

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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 (DPIIT) Guruprasad Mohapatra has also urged to allow workers and operators at retail outlets, pharmacies, manufacturing units to travel to their units.

"In the wake of precautions being taken by various states for prevention of COVID-19 through lockdowns and various other precautionary measures, it is seen to issue clear instructions from DPIIT to state authorities to not obstruct and call for closure of food processing units, since they manufacture food stuff and to maintain uninterrupted supply for citizens of our country," the letter dated March 23 said.

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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 11:38 IST