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Allowing e-commerce cos to sell non-essentials to provide relief, help millions of SMBs: Industry

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The government”s decision to allow e-commerce companies to sell all items, including non-essential items like laptops and refrigerators, in orange and green zones will provide relief to people, while helping millions of small and medium businesses and traders to jump-start their businesses amid the lockdown, industry executives said on Friday.
The government has now extended the lockdown till May 17 with a ban on air travel, trains and inter-state road transport. It, however, gave some relaxations for various business activities and people”s movement within areas with limited or no COVID-19 cases.
Under the latest rules, e-commerce activities in red zones are permitted only for essential goods, while delivery of both essential and non-essential items will be allowed in green and orange zones during the third phase of lockdown.
“We welcome the government”s decision to allow e-commerce 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 jump-start their businesses and livelihoods across their workforce,” an Amazon India spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the company will focus on maintaining the “sanctity of the new guidelines around the red zones”.
The company urged the government to consider the positive role e-commerce can play to get customers all priority products they need in the red zones as well, enabling a stronger economic support for the small businesses while prioritising safety.
“The government has taken an insightful decision by opening e-commerce deliveries of non-essential items in green and orange zones,” Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice-President, Paytm Mall said.
He said customers have been eagerly waiting for some relief in lockdown guidelines to buy products like air conditioners, refrigerators and even summer clothing. People are also keen on purchasing items like laptops, mobile phones, computer hardware and stationery to continue work and study from home.
“This move will give a major relief to citizens… Paytm Mall”s offline merchant and shopkeeper base will now be able to get back to running their businesses and safely sell to their customers maintaining all lockdown and social distancing norms,” Mothey said.
A Snapdeal spokesperson said the announcement by the home ministry paves the way for a “calibrated” resumption of various economic activities, including e-commerce, in various parts of the country.
“This will help start a gradual process of economic recovery by enabling lakhs of sellers and MSMEs to cater to the demand of users through online and offline channels. At Snapdeal, we are ready and committed to play our role in enabling India to exit this lockdown safely and efficiently,” the spokesperson said.

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