Shopping websites will be back in Business from April 20

You may soon be able to order everything you need on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart, to name just a few. The latest Guidelines by the Government of India's Ministry of Home Affairs enter into force on April 20, allowing for additional activities subject to state and union territories operationalization. This comes at a time when India's lockdown was extended to May 3, in an attempt to curb Coronavirus spread.

 

 

 

by Niranjani Jesentha Kumari Prabagararaj

Updated: Apr 15, 2020 20:20 IST

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E-commerce services

The new guidelines state that all goods traffic must be allowed throughout the country, with the exception of the demarcated containment zones, hotspots, or red zones where infection spread or risk is high. It includes railway operations for the transport of goods and parcels, airport operations, and land ports for the transportation of cargo, as well as the transportation of lorries and commercial vehicles for pick-up and delivery of goods. The Ministry of Home Affairs' latest guidelines state that "vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be permitted to play with required permits," and it will also be allowed to operate courier services.

Essential goods remain in focus, and the government clarifies that "all facilities in the supply chain of critical goods, whether involved in the manufacturing, wholesale or retail of these products through local stores and mortar stores or e-commerce firms, should be permitted to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any limitation on their opening and closing timing."

Under the latest relaxed guidelines in place, shopping websites and e-commerce services are expected to be able to produce and complete consumer orders now. During the early days of the first shutdown process, there were reports that e-commerce companies and their delivery staff were often prevented from moving about, hampering services, and supplying customers with essential goods.

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