E-commerce companies will be allowed to deliver only essential items like food, pharmaceutical and medical equipment till the lockdown ends,

The clarification comes after reports indicated that e-commerce firms have been allowed to delivery non-essential items from April 20. (Photo: Reuters/Representational image)

The supply of non-essential goods by e-commerce firms remain prohibited till the lockdown which ends on May 3, clarified the government on Sunday.

The clarification comes after reports indicated that e-commerce firms have been allowed to delivery non-essential items including mobile phones, refrigerators, television and other consumer durables starting April 20.

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.

It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Home Affairs in its guidelines for lockdown 2.0 did not specifically exclude the delivery of non-essential items by online sellers in the guidelines it issued.

While the government earlier said that the vehicles used by e-commerce firms will be allowed to ply, the guidelines did not specify whether companies would be allowed only essential goods.

However, the confusion has now been cleared by the government. E-commerce companies will be allowed to deliver only essential items like food, pharmaceutical and medical equipment till 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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