The Union Home Ministry on Thursday issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on availability of essential goods during the lockdown period and asked state governments to ensure smooth functioning of people and services. The ministry said there should be no interruptions in the services of small retail shops, large organised retail stores and e-commerce companies.
In the two-page SOP, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said essential commodities are available to people through small local retail shops, large organised retail stores and e-commerce companies.
The SOP said in order to ensure smooth functioning of these three types of operators, it is important that constituents of the supply chain, are also allowed to operate.
These constituents include suppliers of essential goods, including restaurants supplying home delivery of cooked food items; and facilities for storage of such essential goods which, may be known as warehouse, godown etc.
It also allowed movement of transporters, drivers, loaders etc. of essential goods from the place of manufacture to wholesalers or retailers.The SOP said that such transportation may involve intra-city, inter-city in same state or union territory or inter-state movement of essential goods; and manufacturing units of essential goods including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates.