E-commerce operations exempted from prohibition over Covid-19 outbreak

E-commerce operations exempted from prohibition

Ministry of Consumer Affairs has exempted e-commerce companies, wholesale retailers and their delivery partners from prohibiting their functions, while All India trade members shut their business amidst Coronavirus outbreak.

In the rise of protection against deadly Coronavirus, PM Narendra Modi while addressing the nation, advised the public to obey ‘Janata curfew’ and to maintain social distancing.

In response to that, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that trade members will shut the business establishment.

In this situation, in order to maintain the supply of goods and services to citizens and to avoid the situation of panic and distress, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in an inter-ministerial meeting has ordered chief secretaries of all states and union territories to exempt e-commerce companies, wholesale retailers and their delivery partners.

Responding to this, Kunal Bahl (co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal) has tweeted,“Great to see the direction given by Secretary of Dept of Consumer Affairs about the fact that eCommerce is an essential service and related operations would be exempt from any type of prohibitory orders. In these times of turbulence, e-commerce can ensure seamless supply.”

Flipkart also stated, “Over the last several days, we have seen demand in certain categories increase, and as we meet this demand working with lakhs of our sellers, we have taken multiple precautions to ensure the safety of our supply chain and last-mile delivery…This gives us confidence in our ability to support and collaborate with governments (Both Centre and States) and other stakeholders as we fight this crisis as a country.”

The move was welcomed by e-commerce players as they are seeing a big jump in demand for groceries, hygiene products as people resort to panic buying and stocking up of essentials.

However, these e-commerce retailers are requested to maintain hygiene and sanitation by the Ministry.

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