Amazon, Flipkart Request Government to Ease Sale of Non-Essential Items in India During Lockdown

Flipkart urges that gradual opening up of delivery of non-essential items will ease the burden of piled up inventory of MSME’s.

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Amazon, Flipkart Request Government to Ease Sale of Non-Essential Items in India During Lockdown

The Indian government has banned all sale of non-essential goods till May 3

Highlights
  • E-commerce giants currently sell only essential goods in India
  • The lockdown in India has extended till May 3
  • Flipkart, Amazon ask government to relax ban on e-commerce

As India continues under complete lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce giants are requesting the government to relax sale of non-essential items online. Flipkart urges that gradual opening up of delivery of non-essential items will help meet consumer demands, and ease the burden of piled up inventory of MSMEs. Amazon and Flipkart say that they will ensure that the product delivery process will be conducted in a safe and secure manner. The Indian government has banned all sale of non-essential goods till May 3.

The country has been under a complete lockdown since March 25, and it's been over a month since citizens have been able to procure any goods that are classified as non-essential. This includes items that may be required to get adjusted to the new norm of work from home, new smartphones in the event of sudden damage, kids supplies that may not be classified as essential, and products that help with coping with the rising heat. Flipkart Group spokesperson says, “E-commerce can help meet these requirements in a safe and secure way while ensuring social distancing and allowing the Government in continuing their efforts to contain this situation. 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.”

New 'Operating Procedure' for Amazon, Flipkart to Ensure Safe E-Commerce Deliveries

Many small businesses rely on Amazon and Flipkart for selling their goods online, and relaxing the ban would lead to reviving their livelihoods. “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. We as a company are committed to serve more than 100m Indians from the safety of their homes, reduce the number of people who need to step out, while at the same time help hundreds of thousands of small businesses jumpstart their livelihoods in these difficult times,” and Amazon India spokesperson said in a statement to Gadgets 360.

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The gradual relaxation in e-commerce sale will help ease consumer woes while social distancing. the companies said. To recall, the government had briefly issued an order to allow smartphone sales in the country after April 20, but that was later revised to suspend all sales of non-essential goods till May 3. Amazon and Flipkart currently sell only essential goods like groceries, medical supplies, baby essentials, and animal essential products. Flipkart and Amazon claim to have trained delivery agents regarding all important safety measures while delivering these goods.


How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Tasneem Akolawala Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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