- //Update 1(19/04/2020 12:42 pm) Change in rules again; only essential items to be allowed
When the 21-day lockdown was imposed in India last month on the 24th of March, e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart had to temporarily suspend their services, followed by resuming delivery for essentials. The government has now relaxed its guidelines to allow e-commerce services to function normally without restrictions, starting from April 20.
This includes electronic gadgets like smartphones, TVs, refrigerators, laptops, and stationery items. “Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions.”, said the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday.
“All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-commerce companies should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.”, the MHA added.
This move would certainly help bridge the supply-demand gap that’s currently prevalent across the country. For all the tech enthusiasts out there, this means you will soon be able to get your hands on the recently announced OnePlus 8 series and the second-generation iPhone SE.
Several companies have stepped up to ensure people get their essentials during this time of crisis. For instance, ride-hailing giant Uber teamed up with Flipkart to deliver groceries. In the meantime, food delivery services like Swiggy and Zomato expanded their grocery delivery services to more cities in the country.
Meanwhile, the revised guidelines has also allowed IT companies to operate with 50 percent capacity from this Monday. The lockdown in India is currently effective until May 3.
Update 1 (19/04/2020 12:42 pm)
It seems the government has decided to change its earlier decision allowing e-commerce companies to resume deliveries of non-essential items across the country.
The change comes by the way of a brief order issued by the Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla.
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) April 19, 2020
Flipkart yesterday announced that it will start deliveries of smartphones from Monday, 20th April. As of this writing, the Flipkart website is still showing smartphones available to order.
We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.