E-commerce, courier services allowed from April 20
The Centre on Wednesday allowed operations of e-commerce companies and courier services starting April 20. In an order, the Ministry of Home Affairs, has also said that vehicles of e-commerce companies can ply with necessary permissions. The relaxations are allowed in areas which are not hotspots for coronavirus cases.
Although e-commerce companies were allowed to carry on the delivery of groceries and essential goods during the past 21 days of lockdown, there were issues being faced by their delivery personnel due to the restrictions from the authorities.
Initially there were several reports of delivery partners of e-commerce firms being beaten by police, but eventually, the Home Ministry assured the companies that they would be able to operate and deliver essential goods.
A Flipkart Group spokesperson on Wednesday said: "In line with the guidelines announced by the Government of India and also in collaboration with all State Governments & local authorities, we will continue to serve consumers to promote social distancing through our sanitised supply chain, contact-less deliveries and safe last mile delivery process."
Further, the company is collaborating with the retail ecosystem including Kiranas to ensure that customers can stay indoors.
"We will continue to contribute meaningfully in this battle by bringing products that consumers need at their doorsteps in addition to sustained intense focus on ensuring that our supply chain is safe, that we scale-up effectively to maximise resources on-ground," said the spokesperson.
Applauding the move, a Snapdeal spokesperson said: "At this critical juncture, the e-commerce industry can ensure that citizens stay indoors and all their needs are met through home deliveries with immense precautions. We look forward to serving the nation in protecting both lives and livelihoods."
Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice President, Paytm Mall, said: "The government has taken a proactive and timely decision. Millions of merchants and businesses can again revive their businesses. Paytm Mall is having discussions with brands and merchant partners. The demand for non-essential goods is set to rise after we open all categories."