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MHA Expands Lockdown Exemption: Forestry, Plantation, Construction In Rural Areas Allowed

MHA has issued fresh exemptions from lockdown restrictions to certain activities in rural areas including farm work, operations at financial institutions, etc.


The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued fresh exemptions from lockdown restrictions to certain activities in rural areas including farm work in forests and plantations, operations at financial institutions and construction activities with necessary instructions. The list of exemptions will come under the consolidated revised guidelines to all Ministries/Departments.

READ | MHA Expands Digital Economy Exemptions In Covid Lockdown 2.0: E-commerce, Teaching Allowed

The Centre has been updating these guidelines to exempt more and more activities since the original guidelines were published on April 15, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the Coronavirus lockdown till May 3. The recent order was issued on Thursday.

Following are the list of fresh exemptions:

  • Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP)/ Non-timber Forest Produce (NTFP) by Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers in forest areas;
  • Bamboo, coconut, areca nut (supari), cocoa, spices plantations and their harvesting, processing, packaging, sale and marketing;
  • Non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) including Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and Micro Finance Companies (NBFC--MFIs), with bare minimum staff;
  • Cooperative Credit Societies;
  • Construction activities in rural areas to include water supply and sanitation, laying/erection of power transmission lines and laying of telecom optical fibre and cable along with related activities.

READ | MHA Relaxes Lockdown Norms For More Industries, Announces Exemptions

Exemptions announced earlier

The MHA had on Wednesday exempted e-commerce operations, operations of IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres for Government activities, and online teaching and distance learning from strict lockdown curbs. People working in MNREGA, especially those involved in irrigation and water conservation activities, can resume their duties while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.

Farming operations, including procurement of agricultural products, agriculture marketing through notified Mandis and direct and decentralized marketing, manufacture, distribution and retail of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds; activities of marine and inland fisheries; animal husbandry activities, including the supply chain of milk, milk products, poultry and livestock farming; and tea, coffee and rubber plantations are also allowed to be functional.

READ | MHA Exempts Fisheries From Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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