The government on Friday exempted few more areas from the purview of the ongoing lockdown including construction activities in rural areas, water supply, sanitation works and functioning of non-banking financial institutions and cooperative credit societies across India.
In a communication to all States and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also said collection, harvesting and processing of minor forest produce, non-timber forest produce by Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers in forest areas were also allowed to be carried out during the lockdown which will last till May 3.
Construction activities in rural areas including water supply and sanitation, laying and erection of power transmission lines and laying of telecom optical fiber and cable along with related activities will be allowed, Bhalla said in his communication.
Non-Banking financial institutions, including housing finance companies, and microfinance institutions with bare minimum staff and cooperative credit societies are exempted from the lockdown across India.
Bamboo, coconut, areca nut cocoa, spices plantation and their harvesting, processing, packaging, sale and marketing are also allowed to be carried out during the lockdown.
The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 in a bid to combat the Coronavirus endemic.
It was further extended till May 3.
On Wednesday, the Home Ministry had announced a series of exemptions given to different people and services during the lockdown.