April 20, 2020

Revised MHA Guidelines for Lockdown 2.0 sets a 'Go' for Logistics, Starting today

Revised MHA Guidelines for Lockdown 2.0 sets a 'Go' for Logistics, Starting today

As part of its cautious approach to reboot the economy, the government is re-opening the logistics in a phased manner; opening up the employment opportunities again, especially for the daily wagers and other members of the labor force, aimed to ensure that the rural economy runs in full swing.

The following is allowed to move or go active from today:

Movement, loading/unloading of goods/cargo (inter and intra State) is allowed, as under:

1. All goods traffic will be allowed to ply.

2. Operations of Railways: Transportation of goods and parcel trains.

3. Operations of Airports and related facilities for air transport for cargo movement relief and evacuation.

4. Operations of Seaports and Inland Container Depots (ICDs) for cargo transport, including authorized custom clearing and forwarding agents.

5. Operations of Land Ports for cross land border transportation of essential goods, including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical supplies.

6. Movement of all trucks and other goods/ carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the driver carrying a valid driving license; an empty truck/ vehicle will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods, or for pick up of goods.

7. Shops for truck repairs and dhabas on highways, with a stipulated minimum distance as prescribed by the State/ UT authorities.

8. Movement of staff and contractual labour for operations of railways, airports/ air carriers, seaports/ ships/ vessels, landports and ICDs is allowed on passes being issued by the local authority on the basis of authorizations issued by the respective designated authority of the railways, airports, seaports, landports and ICDs.

Supply of essential goods is allowed, as under:

9. All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-commerce companies should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.

Commercial and private establishments:

11.Courier services.

12.Cold storage and warehousing services, including at ports, airports, railway stations, container Depots.

13.Individual units and other links in the logistics chain.

Further, NHAI is also said to resume the toll operations from today which were suspended since March 25, a move which has invited strong opposition from transport bodies.

“In view of the relaxations provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the interstate and intrastate movement of all trucks and other goods/carrier vehicles ...NHAI should take actions necessary for compliance of the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs ... and tolling operations be resumed w.e.f. 20th of April 2020,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a letter to NHAI.

How successful the new trade on guidelines would be?

Reports on the abstract of recent MHA guidelines suggests, India will be re-opening half of its economy by today, how much we actually see go-up and running is a quest for another time to dwell upon. According to an estimate, out of total 55 cr working population of India, as many as 14 cr are migrant workers, of which nearly 5 cr are said to have returned to their native places. Most of them are unlikely to come back and join the work immediately. Also, there is no rail/road transport to bring them back to work. That suggests an acute shortage of labor supply which is unlikely to return to normalcy anytime soon, and not a favorable situation for the awaited bull run of the logistics sector.