ICEA urges government of India to allow online sales of mobiles, PCs as essential service during coronavirus lockdown

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Published: March 30, 2020 6:37:01 PM

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, there were 66.19 crore broadband connections in the country in December of which 64.21 crore were being accessed using mobile devices.

ICEA, essential services, coronavirus lockdown, online mobile sales during coronavirus, industries during coronavirusICEA said that the industry is supporting lockdown; and hence, does not seek opening of retail stores. (Reuters)

Mobile devices industry body ICEA has requested the government to allow online sale of mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablet PCs as well their repair and maintenance in essential services category to support work from home during the ongoing lockdown.

The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the government has allowed internet connectivity in essential service categories which calls for maintenance and repair service of smartphones, laptops and tablets as there is tremendous pressure on these gadgets to carry out work from home.

The industry body requested the government to allow service and maintenance outlets/warehouses for mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablets, and online sales of mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablets via e-commerce platforms that are allowed to deliver essential goods in the country.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, there were 66.19 crore broadband connections in the country in December of which 64.21 crore were being accessed using mobile devices.

ICEA said that the industry is supporting lockdown; and hence, does not seek opening of retail stores. However, it has requested to allow sale of mobile phones in tier 3 and 4 towns from service outlets as retail outlets are preferred medium in those areas over e-commerce to buy the devices.

“We would also like to highlight that through mobile devices the government can also track citizens that are impacted by Covid-19. It helps the health authorities to better track the movement of the infected citizen. If their phones were to break down or if they were not to have a smartphone for whatever reason, they should have access to repair shops or stores to procure one,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said in the letter.

E-commerce companies are gradually resuming their operations, but have stopped booking goods falling outside non-essential categories including mobile devices.

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