Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce platforms cannot sell non-essential goods during lockdown: MHA

This directive comes just days after the Indian government had decided to allow e-commerce platforms to resume sale of non-essential goods from April 20th

Highlights
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has said e-commerce platforms cannot resume sale of non-essential goods during lockdown
  • The government had previously allowed sales to resume from April 20th
  • Amazon and Flipkart had begun taking orders for smartphones and other commodities

Sale of non-essential commodities by e-commerce platforms will not be allowed during the coronavirus lockdown period in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said on Sunday, April 19th. This directive comes just days after the Indian government had decided to allow e-commerce platforms like Amazon India and Flipkart to start delivering non-essential goods from Monday, April 20th. Some e-commerce platforms had already begun taking orders for smartphones and other commodities, but it now looks like they will not be able to deliver those orders until the lockdown ends on May 3rd. 

The release from the MHA reads,

“In continuation of Ministry of Home Affairs’s Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I-(A) Dated 15th April, 2020 and 16th April, 2020 and in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10 (2) (I) of the Disaster Management Act, the undersigned, in his capacity as Chairperson, National Executive Committee, hereby orders to exclude the following from the consolidated revised guidelines for strict implementation by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/Union Territory Authorities:

Sub-clause (v) under Clause 14 on Commercial and private establishments

v. E-commerce companies. Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to play with necessary permissions.”

In addition to Amazon and Flipkart, smartphone companies like Xiaomi had also announced that they were taking orders for smartphones and other products on their own websites. Following the directive by the MHA, Xiaomi tweeted that it would understand the latest update in detail and would keep its followers updated. 

On April 15th, the Home Ministry had allowed e-commerce companies and their vehicles to ply and start deliveries non-essential good after April 20th. It is still unclear what e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart will do for orders that it has already received over the past couple of days. We will follow this story and keep you updated as it develops.

Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce companies will continue to deliver essential goods like groceries, food and medicines during the lockdown.