Government said on Wednesday that India will allow opening of some industries which are in rural areas after April 20. This will reduce the distress caused to millions of people due to prolonged lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Farm activities will also be resumed and construction of roads and building in the hinterland which has been less affected by the coronavirus contagion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to extend lockdown on Tuesday till May 3 due to increasing number of coronavirus cases across India. The cases exceeded 10,000 despite of shutdown of three-weeks announced in the month of March.
“To provide an impetus to the rural economy, industries operating in rural areas, including food processing industries; construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and industrial projects in rural areas; works under MNREGA, with priority to irrigation and water conservation works; and operation of rural Common Service Centres (CSCs) have all been allowed,” said the notification.
On 14th April Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech has expressed concerns about the livelihood of the daily wage workers and said resuming of these activities will create a job opportunities for rural labour, including the migrant labour force.
“While the government had already exempted agricultural workers from the lockdown apart from those in containment zones, the home ministry notification declared that “procurement of agricultural products” and “agriculture marketing through notified mandis and direct and decentralised marketing” will be allowed,” said the notification.
“The manufacture, distribution and retail of fertilisers, pesticides and seeds; activities of marine and inland fisheries; animal husbandry activities, including the supply chain of milk, milk products, poultry and livestock farming; and tea, coffee and rubber plantations are allowed to be functional,” said the notification.
From April 20, permitted activities are said to ensure the full functionality of agriculture and related activities and it also ensures maximum efficiency to the rural economy. The government also aims at creating employment opportunities.