India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a circular directing state governments and other local authorities to help facilitate the movement of vehicles carrying goods, including those on the non-essential list.The ministry circular follows reports that the smooth flow of cargo trucks remains hampered across the country due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Davis Index, in previous reports, reported imported metal scrap shipments are still quarantined at inland container depots (ICD) in India, as dealers have been unable to clear consignments. The COVID-19 lockdown has seen truck services go off the roads. Over 50,000 sea containers are uncleared at the 23 CFS and private ports in Chennai, Mundra and JNPT.
Besides material movement, production at steel mills remains hampered due to a lack of workforce. Because of the lockdown, casual labourers left for their hometowns and have been unable to return since. Thus, despite India’s steel ministry appealing to steelmakers to refrain from production cuts, mills have been forced to drastically lower production.
The government circular, dated April 12, directs local authorities and state governments to now facilitate permits to labourers to ensure continuity of production across sectors.