The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released a set of revised guidelines this week which included full fledged operation of the ecommerce companies from April 20. However the Centre has left it to the state governments to decide in which areas and to ensure compliance with rules of social distancing and sanitisation.
Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm Mall are all set to resume full operations from April 20. Amazon on the other hand had sought clarification regarding sale of non-essential goods.
Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu are the states that have issued directives allowing ecommerce sales of all goods, including non-essential categories, from April 20.
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No Deliveries in COVID-19 Hotspots!
All state governments have made it clear that no deliveries will be allowed in the COVID-19 hotpots or containment zones within those areas.
The notification from the Maharashtra government read ‘e-commerce delivery of all goods and commodities including food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, electrical and electronic appliances’ is exempted from the extended lockdown.
The Rajasthan government has permitted e-commerce and home delivery companies to supply all items provided the delivery person follows the safety protocols like mask, gloves and sanitisers.
Karnataka and Haryana Still Not Sure About Non-Essential Goods Delivery!
Two senior industry executives in touch with the governments of Karnataka and Haryana said, as the demand rises for products used to help to work from home and education from home, the states are evaluating a decision.
The executives said the government has realised that consumers are looking for laptops, tablets, smartphones, Wi-Fi routers and printers and appliances such as washing machines. The increasing demand can be due to the confinement to homes and also working from homes.
What is the Plan of Action of Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall?
Amazon India spokesperson said, the company is aiming to support the immediate need of consumers and participating in the resumption of economic activity post the MHA notification. He also said, “We are working closely with all our partners – brands, manufacturers, sellers, small businesses and local shops – helping them to offer the most needed products to customers.”
A Flipkart spokesperson said it will aid the consumers while promoting safe protocols like social distancing, sanitised supply chain, contactless deliveries and safe last-mile delivery processes. The spokesperson also said Flipkart is working with lakhs of sellers, small businesses and artisans to make products available for consumers.
The senior VP Srinivas Mothey of Paytm said, Paytm Mall is speaking to brands and merchant partners so that it can deliver products in all categories. He said, “We believe that there is going to be a massive demand for electronics, mobile phones and accessories as many of our consumers have been reaching out to us to know when these categories would be live again.”