Centre sets up control room to ensure smooth supply of essentials

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on March 26, 2020

DPIIT directs States to grant permissions to workers, transporters; top officials discuss issues with e-commerce players, traders

To ensure the smooth supply of essential commodities including fruits, vegetables, milk, groceries and medicines amid the lock-down, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has set up a control room. It will monitor, in real time, the status of manufacturing, transport and delivery of such goods.

The DPIIT has also written to various State governments, directing them to ensure the movement of food is not blocked and permissions to operate are granted to workers, transporters and delivery persons, a government official told BusinessLine.

“In the event of any manufacturer, transporter, distributor, wholesaler or e-commerce company facing ground level difficulties in transport and distribution of goods or mobilisation of resources, the same may be informed to this Department....”, said an internal note issued by the DPIIT.

Operational woes

Retailers and e-commerce companies have been complaining of police and other administrative officials hindering their operations and some delivery boys also reported being beaten up.

The difficulties being faced by various stakeholders during the lock-down in producing and accessing essential commodities will also be discussed and taken up at the control room, according to the internal note.

E-commerce deliveries

The Secretaries and senior officials from the Home Ministry, DPIIT and the Health Ministry met representatives from the e-commerce industry and traders on Wednesday to discuss how to go about delivering essential commodities to people.

“The government officials discussed the problems being faced by e-commerce companies and traders in carrying out their operations, impressed upon them the need to deal only in essential commodities and also shared safety guidelines to be followed to ensure the health of their employees as well as customers,” the official said.

The Delhi police, on Thursday, issued fresh instructions to all its officials, giving a list of retailers and e-commerce companies that should be allowed to operate in the capital. The list includes Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, 24Seven, Blue Dart, DTDC, Swiggy, Urbanclap and Pizza Hut, among others.

The DPIIT said it is constantly coordinating with State governments to ensure the flow of essential goods. “Any exclusive order or Section 144 restrictions should include the exemption of these manufacturing facilities, distribution and sales channels servicing the food and beverages market, including food delivery services as also employees associated with such activities,” it said in its letter to States.

The DPIIT control can be reached out through telephone (+ 91 11 23062487) and e-mail (

Published on March 26, 2020

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