There should not be ambiguity at the ground level and movement of trucks and goods carriers, including empty ones, to be allowed without any hindrance
A letter written by Ajay Bhalla, Home Secretary, Government of India to Chief Secretaries of all States has instructed that there is no need for separate passes for the movement of goods/cargo services across the country during the lockdown period.
The letter states that there should not be any ambiguity at the ground level, and movement of trucks and goods carriers, even empty ones should be allowed without any hindrance.
In an earlier communication sent out on April 15, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued consolidated revised guidelines to be followed during the lockdown. Under Clause 12 (I and vi), it states that all goods traffic will be allowed to ply and movement of all trucks and other goods/carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper, subject to the driver carrying a valid driving licence. An empty truck/vehicle will be also allowed to ply after the delivery of goods or for pick-up of the goods.
However, the Government has noticed that at inter-state borders in different parts of the country, movement of trucks are not allowed freely and local authorities insist upon separate passes. Though this matter has been clarified earlier through letters dated April 03, 2020, and April 12, 2020, it is now been reiterated that no separate passes are required for through traffic of trucks and goods carriers, including empty trucks, etc. This is essential to maintain the supply chain of goods and services across the country during the lockdown period.
B R Sikri, Chairman, Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE) said, “It was a much-needed instruction from the Government to all State and Union Territories and other governing authorities. Across the country, the pharma industry was facing problems in the movement of goods. This instruction will relieve the industry from multi-level permissions/ pass process. Overall, we appreciate the move as it will facilitate smooth functioning.”
Vinod Kalani, President, Rajasthan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, (Jaipur) and Working President, Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE) said, “It is a welcome development as still interstate transport movement is not that smooth, although in the pharma industry things have started moving except courier services for small consignments. The supply chain is still slow, we hope that despite extended lockdown, transport and courier services will be normalised otherwise there will be shortages of essentials on the retail front.”
Viranchi Shah, National Vice President, Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA-GSB) said, “It will help in removing any hurdles in the movement of transport vehicles across states due to lack of awareness on part of enforcing authorities. It will help improve the supply chain by making transportation little easier.”
This letter is a response to repetitive complaints raised by the essential services/ commodity providers of the country to the authorities about the difficulties faced at various levels during the movement of goods.