- 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.
Supply of non-essential goods by e-Commerce companies to remain prohibited during lockdown: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) pic.twitter.com/5wuB3mLXoT— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2020
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.
We have just received an update from Ministry of Home Affairs suspending ecommerce services for non-essential items affecting our decision about https://t.co/D3b3QtmvaT.— Mi India (@XiaomiIndia) April 19, 2020
We are understanding this in detail and will keep you updated. https://t.co/Fat7688efp
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.