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.”
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,”
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.