Flipkart and Amazon in India have urged the Indian government to grant them the permission to sell non-essential products during the country-wide lockdown. The e-commerce giants have promised to deliver them in a safe and secure way maintaining the social distance. They emphasized on people’s need for these products.
Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown till 3rd May to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus. During the declaration the government banned the sale of non-essential goods through e-commerce during this period.
According to sources of Amazon India, “E-commerce offers the safest way for sellers/retailers to serve the needs of citizens while ensuring social distancing. We are committed to keep citizens safe and urge the government to enable e-commerce to play its role in the joint fight against the pandemic by allowing the supply of all goods that people need over a prolonged period.”
If the government allows resuming the goods delivery, hundreds of thousands of small businesses will jumpstart their livelihoods, said the company. “E-commerce can also support in easing the burden of piled up inventory of MSMEs and help in the delivery of these products to consumers in a safe and secure way while following the robust safety SOPs,” Flipkart said in a statement.
Essential services like food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment are allowed by the government through e-retailers. However, the delivery agents dealing with essential goods have been directed to seek permission from individual state governments.
On Saturday, the Union Home Ministry said, “It is clarified that sale by e-commerce companies will continue to be permitted for essential goods only.” The order comes a few hours after the government allowed shops in residential areas – except those in malls and shopping complexes to reopen.