E-commerce deliveries to resume with new guidelines from Home Ministry


Update (April 19): The ruling has been updated to no longer include non-essentials such as smartphones. Deliveries from Amazon and Flipkart will have to wait at least till May 3. The previous version of the story is below. 

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his speech yesterday, certain relaxation norms have been introduced today to enable e-commerce companies, among many others, to ply their vehicles with necessary permissions. The new norms will come into effect from April 20.

This means e-commerce majors such as Flipkart and Amazon may resume operations, at least partially, after April 20. Moreover, courier services have also been given the green signal which means that it is possible that home deliveries from online portals might resume at least in a limited manner. These new guidelines will not apply to coronavirus hotspot containment zones, as per the document. 

Furthermore, restrictions imposed on cargo movement have been lifted as well. This would mean airports, railways, ports and road trucks, would be operational for this specific purpose across the country.    

Following today’s announcement, Flipkart and Amazon have also updated their home-page. Amazon, in particular, will commence delivery of prior orders that are currently in the pipeline. Hence, It looks like new order deliveries might take more time than usual, as per their announcement. Although, the portal had been delivering essentials to certain regions even prior to this new update.     

Other commercial and private establishments that have been given permission to recommence operations include cold storage, warehousing, IT services and call centres. These guidelines will also provide much-needed relief to daily wage earners and farmers.


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