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States told to adopt e-pass solution system to monitor issuing of passes to companies

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on April 08, 2020 Published on April 08, 2020

Centre tells local authorities to ensure availability of workers at factories, transport for mobility

In a bid to streamline supply chains of essential goods, the Consumer Affairs Ministry has advised State governments to adopt e-pass solution system to issue and monitor passes to companies that have nation-wide supply chains.

It has also sent a suggested list of FMCG, retail and e-commerce companies that are involved in nation-wide supply chain of essential goods to all the State governments. It has also urged local authorities to facilitate availability of workers at factories, warehouses and for distribution and transportation purposes.

Nodal officers

In a letter written by Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs Ministry, to Chief Secretaries of all State Governments, the Ministry has advised States to designate nodal officers to issue authorisation letters to companies that have nation wide supply chains of essential goods. He said the state nodal officers should work with the State Police for co-ordination with local police authorities. Sources said that States have begun nominating nodal officers. States have been advised to use e-pass solution system, which has been developed by Consumer Affairs Ministry in collaboration with E-Gov Foundation.

The list includes 63 names of the suggested companies that should be given authorisation letters by nodal officers. FMCG players that make packaged food and hygiene products such as HUL, Nestle India, Dabur India, Reckitt Benckiser, Cargill India, ITC Ltd, PepsiCo India, Johnson & Johnson, Jyothy Laboratories, Britannia, Adani Wilmar, Tata Consumer, P&G India, Parle Agro and Patanjali Ayurved, are part of the list. It also includes names of leading organised retail chains such as Walmart India, Metro Cash & Carry, D-Mart, Spencer besides e-commerce majors such as Flipkart, Amazon, Zomato and Swiggy.

Smooth movement

Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart said, the proposed solution to adopt online e-pass for mobility of essential service by the Consumer Affairs Ministry has the potential to break down the bottlenecks and ensure smooth movement of goods in the supply chain. “While we wait to see more details on the adoption & implementation by the States for movement of products within the States/City and also inter-States, we strongly believe that technology and e-commerce can both play an essential role in serving the nation as consumers remain indoors and practice social distancing,” he said adding that Flipkart is mobilising all possible resources and exploring several collaborations to ensure delivery of essential supplies to consumers.

A spokesperson for ITC said the company is making efforts to ensure that the supply chain functions smoothly across the country despite the challenges of manpower shortages and non-availability of trucks. Key FMCG companies that make essential goods such as ITC have received approvals from a number of State authorities to make essential goods but they are operating with reduced workforce and restricted number of hours in line with local government directive.

Published on April 08, 2020

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