Amazon, Flipkart, other e-tailers allowed to sell non-essentials in orange, green zones

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Updated: May 02, 2020 11:19 AM

E-commerce firms have been urging the government to allow sale of non-essentials like smartphones, electronic and stationary items on the premise that access to the items have become necessary as Corporate India shifted to work from home while students moved to online classes.

E-commerce firms have been urging the government to allow sale of non-essentials like smartphones, electronic and stationary items.

E-commerce companies such as Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal will now be able to sell non-essential items in parts of the country other than those designated as red zones. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) in a notification issued on Friday said “e-commerce activities, in the Red Zones, are permitted only in respect of essential goods”.

“On a plain reading of Para 10 read with Para 7 (ii)(e) of the MHA notification, it is clear that e-commerce activities are now permitted in respect of non-essential goods in green and orange zone whereas in the red zone only delivery of essential goods will be permitted through e-commerce portal. This is a welcome move and will allow some breather to the leading ecommerce companies operating in India,” said Atul Pandey, partner at Khaitan & Co.

E-commerce firms have been urging the government to allow sale of non-essentials like smartphones, electronic and stationary items on the premise that access to the items have become necessary as Corporate India shifted to work from home while students moved to online classes. Amazon on Thursday said its India business had been the worst hit among its international operations.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to allow ecommerce in Orange and Green Zones to serve people safely with products that they need and have not been able to access due to the lockdown. Millions of small and medium businesses and traders will now be able to jumpstart their businesses and livelihoods across their workforce. While we will maintain the sanctity of the new guidelines around the Red Zones, we urge the government to consider the positive role ecommerce can play to get customers all priority products they need in the Red Zones as well,” Amazon India said in a statement.

The government has taken an insightful decision by opening e-commerce deliveries of non-essential items in green and orange zones, said Srinivas Mothey, senior vice-president at Paytm Mall. “India has been working, studying and staying indoors for quite long now. They are running low on supplies of several items including laptops, mobile phones. This move will give a major relief to citizens,” Mothey said.

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