April 3: In a move to ease the crippling lockdown imposed on March 24 to stop the possible outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the government has decided to allow industries producing essential goods to resume operation provided that they meet certain health criteria.
Industries producing food stuffs and other daily essentials will be allowed to resume operation on condition that they manage all the works with residential staff. The High-Level Coordination Committee for Prevention and Control of COVID-19 took a decision to this effect on Thursday (April 2).
Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada informed that the industries will be allowed to function if they can manage residential for production and fullfill all health and safety requirements.
Dr Khatiwada, who is also the government spokesperson, said that the industries can be operated in coordination with the local units. However, such industries cannot use workers from outside. According to Dr Khatiwada, the industries will have to mobilise the local labourers. “Industries can be operated in coordination with the local levels,” he said.
Likewise, the committee also decided to resume the construction works of large development projects like Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project and Melamchi Water Supply Project. For this, the projects will have to assign staff who are already stationed at the project sites.
“The local bodies will oversee to ensure that no worker from outside enter and those working inside leave the sites,” said Khatiwada.
The committee has also decided to allow harvesting of winter crop and planting of paddy seeds without bringing workers from outside and using local and family workers.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to procure medical kits and equipment from China on its own after an earlier decision to bring those materials through a private firm courted controversy.
Minister Khatiwada said that the matters related to the procurement of medical appliances and kits are under investigation.
He further said that the process of procurement of medical supplies through tender has been scrapped after complaint of financial irregularities and now the government has began a fresh bid through G-2-G (government to government) process.