Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday cancelled the ministry's order of taking action against officers who were reluctant to join office amid the novel Coronavirus threat. Paswan took to Twitter to inform that he has issued an order to cancel the ministry's office memorandum wherein it was stated that the officers who were not willing to join the office would be relieved from the department.
I have come to know about this Office Memorandum of Department of Consumer Affairs. Secretary, DoCA has been instructed to withdraw this OM and issue clarification. Offices shall continue to function as per MHA & DoPT orders during lockdown. pic.twitter.com/D4Sms1sEmP— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) April 14, 2020
Witnessing a very low turnout in offices over the COVID-19 scare, the Department of Consumer Affairs on Monday had asked its officers to clarify their unwillingness to join services or else get themselves relieved. The ministry in the office memorandum sought "intimation by all officer/staff of Department of Consumer Affairs regarding their unwillingness/continuation of their services in the department".
The memorandum stated: "All the officers/officials who are unwilling to continue in this department may intimate the same to establishment section by April 20 so that necessary action may be taken for relieving them."
The Department of Consumer Affairs is responsible for maintaining food supplies and distribution in the country in the wake of disruption caused due to the coronavirus lockdown. The department is responsible for the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act, Essential Commodities Act and prevention of black marketeering and maintenance of supply under the Essential Commodities Act.
So far, India has reported 10,815 cases of COVID-19 and has seen a sharpening of the infection curve in recent weeks. 1,190 patients have recovered from the disease while 353 people have died. The Coronavirus lockdown, due to end on April 14, has been extended till May 3 by the Modi government given the rise in infections.
(With inputs from agencies)