NEW DELHI: With e-commerce platforms allowed to function from April 20, one can order for non-essential goods too these websites, the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified on Thursday. Mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, laptops and stationery items will be allowed to be sold through e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm Mall etc. during the extended lockdown period, officials said.
The clarification from a senior ministry official came a day after Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued revised guidelines for the extended lockdown period till May 3. “Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions,” a senior ministry official said.
During the first phase of shutdown, MHA had ordered that e-commerce platforms would be allowed to sell only essential goods like food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The guidelines released on Wednesday did not classify essential and non-essential items.
The opening of e-commerce is part of government’s attempt to revive industrial and commercial activities stalled since March 25 due to the lockdown. During the first lockdown, many people complained about ban on sale of phones, laptops and spare parts for repair of these. With work from home increasing dependency on laptops, desktops, phones, internet modems etc., the need was felt to allow the sale of these consumer goods.
Protecting jobs in the sector
A large number of people are engaged in the logistics and delivery works of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart. By opening the sector, the government is trying to protect the interests of this large segment of employees