Coronavirus: Delivery of non-essential items to remain prohibited during lockdown

Jamshedpur 19 April 2020: The supply of non-essential goods through courier by e-commerce firms like flipkart, amazon ,zindadeal and others remain prohibited till the lockdown which ends on May 3, clarified the government on Sunday.

E-commerce companies will not be able to ship non-essential goods like Electronics and Mobile Phones

The U-turn by the home ministry on allowing e-commerce companies to sell non-essential items like electronics etc comes even as some companies like Flipkart had started accepting advance orders for phones, tablets and TVs. However since these were to be delivered only from April 20, the e-commerce companies may now have to delay the shipment till May 3.

Sources said a key reason for the government rethink on allowing e-commerce companies to sell and deliver non-essential items may have to do with objections from local traders dealing in these items, who are not allowed under the revised guidelines to open their shops. It was seen as discriminatory to allow e-commerce companies to sell non-essentials while barring local shops/stores from doing the same. The Congress too yesterday objected to this alleged discrimination between local traders and e-commerce companies and asked home ministry to clarify its order on e-commerce companies.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that there will be no relaxation with regards to delivery of non-essential items. This means that e-commerce firms will continue to deliver essential items, but customers seeking to buy any non-essential items can do so after the lockdown ends.

Commenting on the decision, Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said, “CAIT demolished sinister plan of e-commerce companies to trade in non-essential commodities. Accepting the objection of CAIT, the MHA excluded the permission granted earlier and now e-commerce can trade only in essential commodities.”

“Thanks to Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh & Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.”

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