New Delhi: Biscuits major Parle Products on Wednesday said it will donate three crore packs of biscuits in the next three weeks, specially to the needy people through government agencies with the country going on a 21-day lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic.

The company said its manufacturing units are functioning with 50% workforce keeping with government advisories to curb the escalation of coronavirus outbreak, but it is working to ensure that sufficient quantity of its products are available in the market.

"We have decided to work with government, donate through government agency, three crore packs of biscuits, one crore each in the next three weeks, especially for people in need. We will be donating one crore packs of Parle-G biscuits every week for the next three weeks, effectively about three crore packs of biscuits," Parle Products senior category head Mayank Shah told PTI.

He further said, "We are also looking at ensuring requirements of those who need food right now. There will be many people whose livelihood will be hampered. We will work very closely with the government to ensure that they don't go hungry."

Shah said, "As a result of lockdown there is a huge amount of panic buying and hoarding is happening. People are going out and buying everything that's available in terms of food, including biscuits which is ideal for this kind of situation because they have a longer shelf life and retain freshness for a longer period of time."

Shah said although the factories of the company and third party vendors are working with an average of 50% workforce, Parle Products is "going all out and ensuring that we are available in the market in sufficient quantity so that there is no panic."

"We have seen a lot of buying happening in processed food as well, including biscuits, which is the top item to be stocked up during this kind of lockdown. We have ensured that supplies are continuous and are not interrupted."

Shah said while the Centre has exempted biscuit manufacturers from the restrictions of the lockdown, the company is facing issues in some pockets as local authorities have not allowed transport of raw materials and finished products.

With PTI Inputs