"I want to thank PM Modi for allowing to open shops across the country. The Home Ministry has given the responsibility to state governments. We have to wait for the state government to take a decision on this. But I think state governments will take a decision," Khandelwal told .
"Whenever the shops will be opened, people should stise shops and markets first. Masks, gloves and stisers should be used. Shopkeepers should also ensure social distancing," he said.
In an order on Friday, the MHA exempted all shops under the Shops and Establishment Act, including shops in residential complexes and market complexes, from revised consolidated lockdown restrictions. However, the relaxations are not applicable in hotspots and containment zones.
"All shops registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State/Union Territory, including shops in residential complexes and market complexes, except shops in multi-brand and single-brand malls, outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, with 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory," reads the MHA order.
"All shops, including neighbourhood shops and standalone shops, shops in residential complexes, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the respective State and Union Territory, except shops in market complexes and multi-brand and single-brand malls, with 50 per cent strength of workers with wearing of masks and social distancing being mandatory," it said.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was later extended till May 3.
India's total number of coronavirus positive cases has climbed to 24,506 including 18,668 active cases, 5,063 cured/discharged/migrated and 775 deaths, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said today.
( With inputs from ANI )