With a sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in the country and growing possibility of imposition of movement restrictions by States, the Commerce & Industry Ministry has decided to monitor the situation by setting up a control group so that transportation, production, distribution or other related issues can be speedily resolved if they occur.

Timely move

Exporters and small businesses point out that such a move is timely as during the earlier lockdown period there was disruption of business when States came up with their own directions limiting production activities and movement of goods and people.

“Earlier, small units faced huge problems during the lockdown when various diktats were given by States and the local administration,” pointed out Anil Bhardwaj from FISME. He said that MSMEs had not yet reported any major issue but the DPIIT’s move was timely and it would be communicated to all members.

The Control Centre is to settle problems that arise out of lockdown policing situations which can happen anywhere, pointed out Mohit Singla, Founder Chairman, Trade Promotion Council of India.

“This time government departments are working on SOPs (standard operating procedures) with prior learning and have put on their guards early,” Singla said.

It is a welcome step and the save the industry from unnecessary hassles, he added.

The DPIIT has taken cognisance of the steps taken by various State governments/UTs to control the spread of Covid cases, as per a note issued by the DPIIT to all industry and trade associations. “Therefore, as a measure of precaution and for supporting our business ecosystem, DPITT will monitor the status and issues arising (if any) during transportation and delivery of goods and essential commodities due to the restrictions (if any) imposed by various State governments/UTs,” the note said.

In case of any manufacturing, transportation, distribution, wholesale or e-commerce companies facing difficulties in transportation and distribution of goods or mobilisation of resources, the same may be informed to the department, the DPIIT note stated.

States with fast rising number of Covid-19 cases such as Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, UP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have already put in place various restrictions on work places, social gatherings, gyms, malls and public transportation, but there aren’t significant restrictions yet on inter-State movement of goods & people or manufacturing activities.