Sunday, May 17, 2020

Lockdown 4.0 guidelines | What’s allowed and what’s not?

  New Delhi, May 17: The Centre on May 17 extended the nationwide lockdown, first imposed on March 24, for the fourth time till May 31 while giving considerable flexibility to the States in deciding red, green and orange zones of COVID-19 intensity.
   Immediately after the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) announced Lockdown 4.0 to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued fresh guidelines to allow further resumption of economic activities.
  Here’s a list of what’s allowed and what’s not during Lockdown 4.0 between May 18 and 31. (Source: The Hindu)
  • ·    Buses, auto-rickshaws, cabs can operate; inter-State movement of vehicles to be decided by States mutually
  • ·      Metro, air and rail services remain suspended, except those allowed with special permits
  • ·     All shops, except those in malls and containment zones can open. All shops shall also have to ensure six feet distance (2 gaz ki doori) among customers and also not allow more than 5 persons at one time.
  • ·      Barber shops and salons can open
  • ·      Delivery of essential and non-essential items allowed through online shopping platforms
  • ·      Restaurants can function, but only for take-away
  • ·      Religious, political gatherings prohibited
  • ·      Weddings cannot have more than 50 guests and funerals not more than 20
  • ·    Cap on 33% strength in offices done away with, work from home to be encouraged; social distancing and staggered work hours to be followed in offices
  • ·      Wearing of masks compulsory in public places and work place
  • ·      Night curfew from 7 pm to 7 am for non-essential services to remain in force
  • ·    Vulnerable groups such as those above 65 years, pregnant women and children below 10 to remain at home
  • ·     States can decide the delineation of zones into red, green, orange and containment zones
  • ·     Schools, colleges, malls to remain shut   
  • ·    State/ UT Governments shall continue to strictly enforce the lockdown guidelines and they shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner.

South Andaman District classified as Green Zone except containment zone(s); Lockdown to be continued upto May 31, 2020

  Port Blair, May 17: The Union Home Ministry on Sunday extended the lockdown for another two weeks till May 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19. In its recommendations to the Home Ministry, the Apex Disaster Management body, NDMA said that lockdown measures need to be implemented for a further period in the country to contain the spread of COVID 19. NDMA in exercise of its powers under the DM act, 2005, directs the Ministries, Departments of GOI, States governments and authorities to continue the lockdown measures upto May 31.
Accordingly, the local authority has issued an order as given below:

Port Blair, dated the 17th May, 2020
  Whereas, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in exercise of their powers under section 6(2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, vide their Orders dated 24.03.2020, 14.04.2020 and 01.05.2020 had directed the National Executive Committee (NEC) to take lockdown measures so as to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country;
   Whereas, Chairperson NEC, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 10(2)(I) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has issued Orders of even number on lockdown measures dated 24.03.2020, 29.03.2020, 14.04.2020, 15.04.2020 and 01.05.2020;
   Whereas, save as otherwise provided in the guidelines annexed to this Order, all Orders issued by NEC under Section 10(2) (I) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, shall cease to have effect from 18.05.2020;
  Whereas, in exercise of the powers under Section 6(2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, NDMA has issued an Order number 1-29/2020-PP dated 17.05.2020 directing the Chairperson, NEC that lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 be continued to be implemented in all parts of the Country, for a further period upto 31.05.2020;
   Whereas, under directions of the aforesaid Order of NDMA dated 17.05.2020, and in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(I) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Union Home Secretary in his capacity as Chairperson, NEC, has issued directions for strict implementation, to all the Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Government and State/Union Territory Authorities that lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 will continue for a period of upto 31.05.2020, as per the guidelines annexed to this Order, which will come into effect from 18.05.2020;
  Whereas, Clause (5) of the said guidelines stipulate that delineation of Red, Green and Orange Zones will be decided by the respective State and UT Governments, after taking into consideration the parameters shared by Ministry of Health 8s Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (Gol);
   And Whereas, in the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, North & Middle Andaman and Nicobar District had already been classified as Green Zone by MoHFW vide DO dated 15.4.2020 and shall continue as such under the new annexed guidelines;
   And Whereas, the entire South Andaman District is hereby classified as Green Zone in South Andaman District based on the parameters shared by MoHFW except the containment zone(s) as is / may be notified by District Magistrate South Andaman from time to time;
   Now therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 24 (1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the undersigned in his capacity as Chairperson, Union Territory Disaster Management Executive Committee, for the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands hereby orders that the guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries / Departments of Government of India, State/UT Governments and State/UT Authorities for containment of COVID-19 in the country upto 31.05.2020 issued by MHA dated 17.05.2020 shall be applicable to the whole of A & N Islands.
Chetan B. Sanghi
Chief Secretary
(F.No. CS/Sr.PS/05/2020)”

Thursday, May 14, 2020

DSS commences transportation of Stranded Personnel

All stranded personnel will be required to pay for the travel / ship ticket as per promulgated rates

Port Blair, May 14: In the last few day, the Directorate of Shipping services carried out registration of stranded personnel who wish to be transported To and From A&N Islands. As of today, a total of 3846 personnel have registered to be transported out of Andaman Islands and 3125 no of personnel have registered to be transported from Mainland to A&N Islands.
Whilst sailing schedules from Andaman to Chennai and vice versa were tentatively planned on 06.05.2020, the A&N Administration had also taken up the matter seeking approval of competent authority for transportation of stranded personnel by Air. However, as approval of the competent authority for Air Travel is still awaited, the DSS has therefore now also proposed to transport passengers by ship.
In the meantime the Government of Tamil Nadu has intimated that due resurgence of COVID-19 cases at Chennai, and their quarantine facilities not being ready, they are not in a position to accept any incoming passengers at Chennai for the time being, till the quarantine facilities are in place. Following these constraints, the sailing to and from Chennai cannot be planned immediately, until the consent of the Tamil Nadu Government is received. Therefore in the initial phase the sailing to and from Kolkata sector will be planned.
Due to the ongoing restrictions and requirements to comply with the norms of social distancing, the ships of the Directorate will be able to carry only 50% of its capacity i.e 600 passengers each. Further, the protocol as suggested by MHA will be strictly followed for screening and transportation of stranded personnel. All incoming passengers would also are require to undergo mandatory quarantine as per protocol. All stranded personnel will be required to pay for the travel / ship ticket as per promulgated rates.
The firm dates of the sailing will be announced at least three Days in advance and priority shall be accorded to the patients, students and other personnel in distress, registered with the Directorate. All sailings will be subject to weather conditions en-route.
As and when Chennai and Vizag sectors are ready to commence operations from their respective ports, sailing shall also be schedules to these ports depending on the list of registered personnel and availability of ships.
With regard to the Inter Island movement of stranded personnel, it is intimated that as of 14th May 2020, a total 2211 passenger have already been transported between various islands and regular sailing are being planned by the DSS, depending on the request  received from various District Administrations, a communication from Dy. Director, DSS said here today.

MP requests MoHFW to resume ANISHI Scheme for Islanders

Port Blair, May 14: Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament, A&N Islands has taken up the matter with the Hon’ble Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, New Delhi regarding continuation of ANISHI scheme upto 31st December, 2020 for cashless treatment upto Rs.5 lakhs for the Islanders.
Mr. Sharma has stated that in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, only one Government Hospital namely GB Pant Hospital is available for treatment of general diseases and in case of serious diseases such as Cancer, Cardiac, Neuro, Brain Tumour, Accidentals cases etc, such patients are referring to Super Specialty Hospitals at Chennai and Kolkata under a scheme introduced by the A&N Administration namely “Andaman & Nicobar Islands Scheme for Health Insurance (ANISHI) for cashless treatment upto Rs.5 lakhs (Five lakhs) per patient since 2015. Now the aforesaid scheme of ANISHI has been closed with effect from 31st March, 2020 on introduction of Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
In this regard he further informed that many hospitals earmarked for treatment under Ayushman Bharat Scheme at Chennai and Kolkata have already been pre-occupied for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic, hence it would be difficult for our Islanders to get treatment in the hospitals under Ayushman Bharat scheme for emergency serious medical treatment other than in the Super Specialty Hospitals which were empanelled under ANISHI scheme upto 31.03.2020.
Therefore, in order to safeguard the health care of the Islanders, he requested the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare to consider for continuation of operation of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Scheme for Health Insurance (ANISHI) for the Islanders till 31st December, 2020 for getting treatment at empanelled Hospitals at Chennai and Kolkata under ANISHI scheme.

Finance Minister announces major stimulus package for MSMEs

New Delhi, May 13: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced Rs.3 lakh crore collateral free loan scheme for businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as part of a Rs.20-lakh-crore economic stimulus package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For salaried workers and taxpayers, some relief was provided in the form of an extended deadline for income tax returns for financial year 2019-20, with the due date now pushed to November 30, 2020. The rates of tax deduction at source (TDS) and tax collection at source (TCS) have been cut by 25% for the next year, while statutory provident fund (PF) payments have been reduced from 12% to 10% for both employers and employees for the next three months.
NBFCs get attention
Apart from MSMEs, other stressed business sectors which got attention were non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), power distribution companies, contractors and the real estate industry.
This is the first tranche of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday as a Rs.20 lakh crore economic package. That package includes the ongoing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, meant to support the poorest and most vulnerable communities during the pandemic, as well as several measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India to improve liquidity. More tranches are expected in the next few days.
Ms. Sitharaman side-stepped queries on the actual cash outgo for the government, as well as how the Centre intends to raise the needed funds.
Ernst and Young's chief policy advisor D.K. Srivastava estimated that the measures announced on Wednesday amounted to Rs.5.94 lakh crore, which include both liquidity financing measures and credit guarantees, although the direct fiscal cost to the government in the current financial year may only be Rs.16,500 crore.
MSMEs will get the bulk of the funding. The Rs.3 lakh crore emergency credit line will ensure that 45 lakh units will have access to working capital to resume business activity and safeguard jobs, Ms. Sitharaman said. For two lakh MSMEs which are stressed or considered non-performing assets, the Centre will facilitate provision of Rs.20,000 crore as subordinate debt. A Rs.50,000 crore equity infusion is also planned, through an MSME fund of funds with a corpus of Rs.10,000 crore.
The definition of an MSME is being expanded to allow for higher investment limits and the introduction of turnover-based criteria. In a bid to fulfill the Prime Minister's vision of a self-reliant or "atmanirbhar" India, global tenders will not be allowed for government procurement up to Rs.200 crore.