The government should consider allowing e-commerce players to deliver non-essentials goods amid lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, research firm CUTS International said on Monday.
It said that the government’s decision to permit e-commerce firms to deliver only essential goods will add to the public hardship for consumers in many ways, instead of mitigating them.
It added that there are more than twenty thousand full time online sellers providing around two lakh direct jobs whose livelihood depends upon e-commerce.
“By not taking on board online-sellers’ and consumers’ interests, the government has made a clear deviation from the multi-stakeholder process of decision making, which it has been boasting about,” Pradeep S Mehta. Secretary General, CUTS said.
CUTS International strongly urges the government to not just allow but encourage e-commerce companies to leverage their infrastructure and help a large number of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to operate smoothly. This will also advance health safety for consumers, he said.
E-commerce platforms, he added, must also ensure some measures to prevent inadvertent spread of virus, such as: proper social distancing in all its operations; frequent use of hand sanitiser; sanitising the parcel just before delivery; encouraging cashless payments; advising buyers to properly wipe the package on delivery, and wash their hands before touching anything else.