CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government on Sunday said it will not relax the lockdown till May 3 and any decision on the way forward will be taken after an expert committee set up to formulate state's lockdown exit plan submits its report.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed deputy commissioners to ensure strict enforcement of the curfew in all districts and check availability of essential items, according to a government statement.
He also asked officials to not issue curfew passes during the month of Ramzan, which begins next week.
Amid concerns that hygiene conditions in mandis were not up to the mark, Singh has also ordered a health audit of these centres, where 185 lakh metric tonnes of wheat is expected to arrive till June, when the procurement will come to an end.
This will infuse around Rs 35,000 crore, including the cash credit limit payment of Rs 26,000 crore received from the Centre, into the state economy, thus giving it the much-needed support for fighting the COVID-19 battle effectively.
He asked deputy commissioners to take firm steps to ensure that there is no crowding at grocery stores and other shops selling essentials and all norms of social distancing are strictly adhered to.
According to an official spokesperson, the chief minister has made it clear that all efforts at the moment should be focused on saving lives.
Any decision on the way forward will be taken after May 3, taking into account the situation prevailing then and the report of an expert committee set up to formulate the state's lockdown exit strategy.
The committee is expected to submit its report this week.
Any violation of the government orders shall invite criminal proceedings under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the Indian Penal Code, the chief minister warned.