GUWAHATI, April 25 - The Assam government has not slackened the lockdown norms and a decision on opening of shops other than those already notified will be taken on April 27, said Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna.
There were some confusion regarding opening of shops following an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs and some shops other than those already notified opened in parts of the State, including Guwahati, this morning. However, the government made it clear that there is no slackness of the norms and such shops were closed down later in the day.
The Ministry of Home Affairs last night issued a notification saying that the neighbourhood and standalone shops as well as shops in the residential complexes registered under the Shops and Establishment Act would be able to open with 50 percent staff. The notification also said that all the employees would have to wear masks and maintain social distance.
The notification created confusion among the people, which led to opening of some shops this morning. However, when contacted, the Chief Secretary admitted that there was some lack of clarity in the notification which led to the confusion. He said that as soon as the matter came to the notice of the government, prompt action was taken and by noon, those shops were closed.
Sanjay Krishna said that the government would discuss the issue on April 27 before a decision is taken in this regard. It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a video conference with the Chief Ministers of all the States to review the situation in the morning of April 27. The Cabinet Secretary also had a discussion with the Chief Secretaries of all the States to review the situation today.
The Chief Secretary said that all concerned, including the police, have been directed to enforce the lockdown strictly and the inter-district movement of stranded people with permission from the respective Deputy Commissioners went on smoothly today. The government has allowed such movement in the State for three days from today.
The Chief Secretary also made it clear that until further orders, only the shops already notified, including medicine shops, grocery shops, fruits and vegetable shops, will remain open. Shops selling fans, etc., would be allowed to open. The government has also allowed opening of book stores for three hours every day to enable students to procure textbooks.