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Government offices to reopen with senior staff from April 20

The notification issued by the Home Ministry, however, says that ministries like Defence, Health and Family Welfare, and government arms like Food Corporation of India, the various central paramilitary forces will start functioning with full strength.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi | Updated: April 15, 2020 6:51:40 pm
Empty Raisina Hills infornt of North Block, South Block and Rashtrapati Bhawan, as the country witness Janta Curfew, against the Corona COVID-19 pandemic, New Delhi, on Sunday, March 22, 2020. (Express photo: Abhinav Saha)

All central ministries and departments and their subordinate offices will start functioning from April 20 with 100 per cent attendance of officials in the rank of Deputy Secretary and above, while 33 per cent of the rest of the staff are to be present in the offices, as per new norms of relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown rules issued by the government Wednesday.

The notification issued by the Home Ministry, however, says that ministries like Defence, Health and Family Welfare, and government arms like Food Corporation of India, the various central paramilitary forces will start functioning with full strength.

The relaxations are, however, not applicable in areas designated as “containment zones” by states and Union Territories

Also asked to start working with full strength are agencies like Nehru Yuva Kendra, National Cadet Corps, Customs and the various disaster management and early warning agencies like India Meteorological Department, National Centre for Seismology and others.

In states, departments like police, home guard, fire department, prisons, municipal bodies, civil defence, will also function with 100 per cent attendance without any restrictions.

The directives from centre clarifies that states cannot further dilute these relaxations which are to be allowed subject to a place strictly observing the existing lockdown restrictions. Health protocols like social distancing are to be maintained at all times.

All other departments in state governments have been directed to allow senior officials—Group A and B—to attend offices as per requirement. Those in Group C and lower down the levels are required to be present in office in 33 per cent of the strength. The notification, however, clarifies that delivery of public services are to be ensured and whatever staff is needed for that should be deployed.

At district levels, the civil administration offices will start functioning with restricted staff.

Staff engaged in maintaining zoos, nurseries, wildlife management in forests, watering plantation, fire-fighting in forests, patrolling and their necessary transport movement are to be resumed, as per the new guidelines.

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