December 8, 2023


Delighting finance buffs

What’s open? What isn’t? See MHA clarification on malls, e-commerce, liquor

The Home Ministry has explained the implications of a Friday order allowing some non-essential services to reopen. Here are five key points to keep in mind.

Road graffiti in Lucknow. (Photo: Reuters)


  • India allows some non-essential services to reopen
  • MHA issues clarification on Friday order
  • Traders welcome further reopening of economy

The government has issued a clarification on its revised lockdown guidelines, especially with respect to malls, e-commerce and liquor sales.

The Home Ministry explained the implications of a Friday order allowing some non-essential services to reopen in a new release.

Here’s what it said, in five points.

1. All shops in rural areas except those in shopping malls are allowed to open.

2. In urban areas, “all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes” have been allowed to reopen. But businesses in markets, market complexes and shopping malls haven’t.

3. E-commerce firms can only deal in essential goods.

4. Liquor and other items are still banned, as described in a list of National Directives outlined in a recent government document.

5. Shops won’t be allowed to reopen in containment zones, irrespective of whether they fall in rural or urban areas.

Praveen Khandelwal, national general secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has welcomed the government’s decision to ask states to allow some businesses to reopen.

The government says shops can open with a staff strength of 50 per cent staff, and with precautions like masks and social distancing.

The association has stressed that before opening shops, all traders should thoroughly disinfect their premises and ensure commercial markets are sanitised. has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, check out our data analysis of cases in India, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.

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