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Challenges of a partial blockade – editorials


On Saturday, the secretary of the department of promotion of industry and internal trade of the ministry of commerce wrote a letter to the home ministry. While the note focused on a possible roadmap for resuming economic activity, a key concern that was highlighted was the need to allow “free movement of all vehicles and labor” for the activities allowed so far, as There have been “many problems” on this front. On Sunday, the home ministry continued to send a note to all state governments. He noted that in some parts of the country, trucks were still stopped; workers required to manufacture essential items did not obtain authorization to move; there were problems in the interstate movement of personnel and goods; and the operation of cold stores and warehouses was being hampered, and all states were asked to make the necessary corrections.

Intragovernmental communication is an illustration of the gap between top-framed policy and implementation on the ground. Tellingly, the commerce ministry is complaining to the home ministry, which in turn is telling states to improve their registration two and a half weeks after closing. This shows that during this duration, many industries, companies, individuals, all eligible to move under the rules, faced obstacles.

But more critically, it shows the implementation challenges that lie ahead. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to speak Tuesday and outline the contours of the next phase of restrictions to deal with the pandemic. The government is likely to adopt a differential lock model, where some sectors and districts will be able to function. This, then, will require an extremely nuanced implementation on the ground. State governments, municipal and district authorities, and most importantly, law enforcement personnel must fully understand the new guidelines and apply them in letter and spirit. They must be human, sensitive and attentive to the needs of people and companies.

Hindustan Times