#LockdownRelaxation: Industries which will be operational from April 20
India entered the second phase of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown on April 15, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3 to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19. However, the government has decided to ease restrictions on certain industries/sectors, allowing them to operate from April 20. Here are some industries which will be operational from Monday.
Partial relaxation from April 20 considering current economic situation
Considering the current economic situation in the wake of the pandemic, the Center has decided to lift restrictions on some industries partially. E-commerce, Information Technology, agriculture, and some industries in rural areas, among others, can resume operations from April 20, according to the government's new guidelines. It is essential to note that these relaxations will not apply in areas declared as COVID-19 hotspots.
E-commerce companies allowed to deliver essential items to people
E-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, and others will remain operational to deliver essential items to people. However, these platforms are still prohibited from selling non-essential items. Apart from e-commerce companies, other facilities involved in the essential goods supply chain, including brick-and-mortar stores, manufacturing units, wholesale/retail stores, and Kirana and grocery shops, will be allowed to operate without restrictions, provided they follow social distancing norms.
Financial sector: Banks, ATMs, insurance companies, NBFCs will be operational
Coming to the financial sector, Reserve Bank of India and its regulated financial markets/entities, bank branches/ATMs, and IT vendors for banking operations will be open. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) and insurance companies, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and capital and debt market entities, Non-Banking Financial Institutions, Housing Finance Companies, Micro Finance Institutions, and Cooperative Credit Societies will also be operational.
Information Technology sector and IT-enabled Services
As per the government guidelines, the Information Technology (IT) industry and the IT-enabled Services (ITeS) companies will be allowed to operate from April 20 with a maximum strength of 50%. Also, data and call centers - only for government activities - will be permitted to function. Meanwhile, the IT hardware sector has also been allowed to resume manufacturing activities.
Construction projects can also be resumed
The Center also gave permission for resuming certain construction activities from April 20. Construction of roads, erection of power transmission lines, laying telecom optical fiber, irrigation projects, industrial projects, sanitation and water works, etc. in rural areas are allowed. Activities at construction projects, where workers are already available on site, in municipal (urban) areas will be allowed. Renewable energy projects can be resumed too.
No restrictions on agricultural activities from April 20
There will be no restrictions on activities related to agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, and plantations (tea, coffee, rubber, coconut, etc.) from Monday. Packaging and marketing of food products will also be allowed. Also, manufacturing units and industrial establishments in rural areas, as well as special economic zones (SEZs), industrial townships/estates, and export-oriented units, will be allowed to function; they must adhere to social distancing norms.