Amazon, Flipkart request government to allow sale of non-essential items
The e-commerce companies have promised to deliver them safely, ensuring social distancing
Both Amazon and Flipkart have requested the government to allow the sale of non-essential items over the lockdown stressing on the fact that people will need these products over this prolonged period. The e-commerce companies have promised to deliver these items safely, ensuring social distancing.
The sale of non-essential items have been banned across e-commerce platforms since the lockdown was announced.
"Enable e-commerce to play its role in the joint fight against the pandemic," Amazon India requested.
"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," Amazon India told NDTV.
The company has said that letting them sell all goods will help "hundreds of thousands of small businesses jumpstart their livelihoods".
"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.
Currently, only essential goods like food, medical equipment, medicine etc are being allowed to be delivered through these e-tailers. There was a discussion regarding expanding the list of essential items to include things like mobile phones etc, but the government rolled that back and has continued the ban against all non-essentials.
All delivery agents handling the supply of essential goods have to seek permission to operate from individual state governments.
"It is clarified that sale by e-commerce companies will continue to be permitted for essential goods only," the Union Home Ministry said in a late-night order on Saturday. The order allows all shops in residential areas, except those in malls and shopping complexes, to re-open.
Most e-commerce companies have been facing crippling disruptions in services and businesses since the lockdown was announced. The lockdown is in place till May 3 with high possibilities of it being extended longer.