Amazon, Flipkart cannot deliver non-essential items like mobile phones, TVs during lockdown

  • A recent directive from the Indian government on the extended lockdown allowed the ecommerce platforms to deliver non-essential items as well, starting April 21.
  • However, now the government has issued a new order that excludes ecommerce platforms from selling non-essential items from its revised guidelines that allow relaxation.
  • As a result, you will not be able to order electronics, mobile phones and other such items till May 3, when the current lockdown is scheduled to be lifted.
If you have been waiting to order a new phone or any other electronic like a TV or a laptop, you will have to wait a little longer. While delivery of non-essential items was expected to resume after April 20, the government has issued a new notification that prohibits the sale of non-essential items on Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce platforms till the lockdown is lifted.

On April 16, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued revised guidelines allowing e-commerce platforms to deliver non-essential items from April 21. The revised guidelines asked platforms to ensure strict social distancing.

Remarking on this, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said yesterday, “More than 40 lakh traders are supplying essential goods across India ever since the lockdown came into effect. Sidelining and ignoring them, the e-commerce companies have been allowed to deliver non-essential goods from April 20 onwards. It is a one-sided and unjust decision and against the larger interest of the traders and will create an imbalance in the country.”

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“Today, we have written a letter to PM Modi, asking him to intervene in the matter and reconsider the decision," CAIT’s secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal said.

Indian e-commerce players Paytm Mall and Snapdeal welcome the move, saying they were already in talks with brands and their e-commerce partners.

You will have to wait two more weeks to buy mobile phones, electronics and more

Now that the government has prohibited Amazon, Flipkart and others from selling non-essential items, buyers will have to wait two more weeks before they can purchase mobile phones, electronics and other non-essential items.
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Earlier today, Flipkart had notified its users about ordering TVs and other items. However, it has now removed those details from its app and its homepage after the Home Ministry’s order.

The lockdown is scheduled to be lifted on May 3. You will have to wait until then to buy these non-essential items.

"Now that the lockdown will be way past its initial 21 days period, it is imperative to expand the definition of “essential goods”. In fact not doing so could be counterproductive at this time. While the entire nation is forced indoors and working from home for extended period it is important that besides food, groceries and medicine, we also ensure supply of other critical items like kitchenware and small kitchen appliances, personal hygiene items, inner wear, work from home essentials like phones, laptops and accessories etc.", Sanjay Sethi, ShopClues CEO said in a statement.
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See also:

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