The association has requested the government to include service and maintenance outlets and warehouses for mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablets among essential services.
The consumer electronics industry has urged the government to bring service and maintenance outlets as well as warehouses storing electronic products under essential services during the lockdown.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) said with extended lockdown period and nearly 98% of internet connectivity being used through smartphones, tablets and laptops, there is tremendous pressure on these gadgets. The higher-than-normal usage will result in the need for regular maintenance, repair, service and replacement of old gadgets.
ICEA president Pankaj Mohindroo said smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers are mission critical to functioning of government officials, hospitals, doctors, police, civil defence, disaster management personnel and officials ensuring provision of utilities like electricity, water and sanitation.
“Further, you will appreciate that even for ordinary citizens and office goers, the ability to ‘work from home and ‘isolate’ from each other necessarily requires using such communication gadgets. Realising this, the government has also decided to declare telecom and internet services as ‘essential services’,” he said in the letter.
Sharing experiences of the US, New Zealand, Italy and Canada, he said several governments have included telecommunications/ICT services as well as service support and sales of such communications devices for residential use in the list of essential services that can continue to operate during the lockdown period.
The association has requested the government to include service and maintenance outlets and warehouses for mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablets among essential services. It has also urged to include online sales of mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablets via e-commerce platforms. Such platforms are already allowed to deliver essential goods in the country.