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    Govt clarifies on lockdown exempt services: Newspapers allowed; diapers, personal hygiene goods part of grocery

    Govt clarifies on lockdown exempt services: Newspapers allowed; diapers, personal hygiene goods part of grocery

    Govt clarifies on lockdown exempt services: Newspapers allowed; diapers, personal hygiene goods part of grocery
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    By Rituparna Bhuyan   IST (Updated)

    Rituparna Bhuyan
    The government has clarified that several services, including delivery of newspapers comprises part of permitted activity during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. In a communication addressed to states, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday reiterated that transportation of all goods, including essential and non essential, has already been allowed through previous notifications.
    The latest communication clarifies that newspaper delivery supply chain activities, which were hit due to the nationwide lockdown, is allowed under MHA norms. In fact, newspaper delivery operations in several parts of the country were discouraged by Resident Welfare Associations in many gated communities across the country, even before the nationwide lockdown.
    Moreover, the MHA communication specifies that grocery products includes hand wash, soaps, disinfectants, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, surface cleaners, diapers, sanitary pads as well as battery cells.
    In addition, supply chain for milk collection and distribution will include packaging, the MHA told states.
    The MHA letter to states comes at a time when local authorities in many parts of India have restricted movement of goods and delivery o services.
    To streamline pension services, the MHA has told states that EPFO related activities are part of exempt services.
    The MHA communication to states is part of a series of efforts by the Home Ministry to put in place common norms for availability of goods and services across the country. The first list of exempt items was issued by the ministry on March 25, which was followed by a second list on March 27.
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