Transportation of essential goods including newspaper delivery are allowed: Ajay Bhalla, Union Home Secretary

The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla, today clarified that the transportation of all goods without distinction of essential and non-essential have been allowed. Adding further, he said, that with the issuance of the first addendum, transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential have been allowed.

According to the clarification, the entire supply chain of milk collection and distribution including its packaging material is allowed, the newspaper delivery supply chain is also allowed under print media.

In the letter dated March 29, Bhalla writes: “Kindly refer to my DO letter of even no. March 24, 2020, wherein an order dated March 24, 2020, under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 along with lockdown measures to be taken by Ministries and Departments of Government of India, and State Government/Union Territories, to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country was issued. This was followed by two Addendum orders dated March 25, 2020, and March 27, 2020, to the guidelines on the lockdown measure.”

He also clarified that ‘Pension’ under exemptions to clause 2(g) include pension and provident fund services provided by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), services of Indian Red Cross Society are also included under Clause 3, groceries include hygiene products such as hand washes, soaps, disinfectants, body wash, shampoos, surface cleaners, detergents, and tissue papers, toothpaste, oral care, sanitary pads, diapers, battery cells, chargers, etc.

“I would also like to inform that the Central Government has also allowed the use of SDRF for homeless people, including migrant labourers, stranded due to lockdown measures, and sheltered in the relief camps and other places for providing them food, etc., for the containment of the spread of Covid- 19 virus in the country,” Bhalla said in his letter.

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