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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Centre directs states not to restrict goods, people’s movement

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With rising diesel prices more trouble for transport sectorIn view of the reports of restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods, the Centre on Saturday directed all states to follow the Unlock 3.0 guidelines and allow such movement without any separate permission or permit.

A letter by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla to all chief secretaries draws their attention to “para 5 of Unlock 3.0 guidelines”, which states that there will be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods.

Citing the para, the letter mentions that no separate permission, approval and e-permit will be required for such movement of persons and goods for cross-border land trade under treaties with neighbouring countries.

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The home secretary’s letter notes that there are reports that local-level restrictions on movement were being imposed by various districts and states.

The letter says such restrictions were creating problems in inter-state movement of goods and services and impacting supply chains resulting in disruption of economic activity and employment.

“Such restrictions amount to violation of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005. No restrictions be imposed and it should be ensured that MHA guidelines are followed,” says the letter.

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The Centre on July 29 issued Unlock 3.0 guidelines — the third phase of lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions across the country, giving relief to inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods. In the guidelines applied till August 31, the government scrapped night curfew and allowed yoga institutes to reopen.

In the new guidelines, the government said metro rail operations and large gatherings, however, still remain banned. Schools, colleges and educational institutions will remain shut till the end of August.

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