Yogi Allows Lockdown Relaxations, Announces Austerity Measures

Markets will also open, though on fixed days to ensure that not all of them open together.

Published19 May 2020, 06:33 AM IST
3 min read

After hours of brainstorming sessions, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to allow opening of markets, shops, offices and industrial activity with pre-conditions in lockdown 4.0.

The decision that came past midnight said that the movement of all persons and vehicles will remain prohibited under section 144 of the IPC between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

According to an order issued by Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R. K. Tiwari, restrictions will continue in the containment zones. In urban areas, a containment zone will be within a 250 metre radius around a single infected person or the colony, whichever is smaller or a radius of 500 metre around a cluster of infected persons with a 250 metre radius buffer zone.

Lockdown 4.0 will be applicable till 31 May and largely follows the guidelines issued by the Centre on Saturday, 16 May. The state government has allowed opening up of all shops and establishments like printing press and dry cleaners outside the containment areas.

Markets will also open, though on fixed days to ensure that not all of them open together. The schedule would be decided by each district administration in consultation with the local traders' bodies on Tuesday.

The vendors and hawkers have also been allowed to start their work though weekly will remain suspended till the end of lockdown.

The guidelines further say that no shop should sell goods to any customer who does not wear a face mask. All other safety precautions like social distancing, use of sanitizers and masks should be observed by all shop owners and vendors.

Restaurants have been allowed to function for home delivery of food but will not be able to serve food on the premises. Bars will also remain closed during the lockdown 4 period.

Sweet shops, however, have been allowed to open on the condition that they will not serve food in the shop.

Weddings have also allowed as banquet halls can open with prior permission form the district authorities. Not more than 20 people can attend the event. No other social, religious, cultural or sports event can be held till the end of the lockdown. Temples will also remain closed during this period.

All kinds of industrial activity outside containment zones has been allowed. For this, permission has also been given for movement of goods vehicles.

With the permission from the health department, nursing homes and private hospital can restart their emergency services and essential surgeries.

The main wholesale vegetable and fruit shops will remain open from 4 a.m to 7 a.m while retail sale can take place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Air travel, Metro rail services, schools, colleges, coaching centres, restaurants for dine-in services, cinema halls, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools and bars will remain shut in lockdown 4.0. Air ambulances have been exempted from this.

The state government has also stated that persons above the age of 65 years, those with co-morbidity, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years should remain indoors unless there is a medical emergency.

One person can ride a two-wheeler though women are allowed as pillion riders if they wear helmets.

Austerity measures in UP

The Yogi Adityanath government has announced major austerity measures for the government departments and officials, in view of the plummeting revenues in the lockdown. Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, Sanjiv Mittal, who also heads a committee on augmenting financial resources, has issued a list of the new austerity measures.

While no ambitious project would be launched in the state, there would be ban on buying cars and also on air travel in the executive class by the government officers.Besides, no new posts would be created to put an effective check on the government expenditure.

Mittal said that as the state's revenues have recorded a drastic fall, there was no option but to resort to austerity measures.He said that instead of undertaking tours, officers would be advised to hold meetings through video conferencing. Officials have been asked not to use luxury hotels for holding conferences, seminars and meetings, but to utilize the government buildings for such events.

Officers have been asked to identify posts that have become obsolete due to the advent of technology and deploy the staff elsewhere. No new construction will be initiated though completion of existing under-construction projects will be allowed.
Appointments of advisors and chairpersons in various departments have also been stopped.

In view of the fund shortage, the state's share in the Centrally sponsored schemes would be given in instalments. Earlier, the government had deducted several allowances of its 16 lakh employees and frozen development funds of MLAs and MLCs. Salaries and allowances of ministers were also slashed to ease the burden on the exchequer.

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