In a U-turn, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on April 19th, 202 has prohibited the supply of non-essential goods by E-Commerce companies like Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. An official clarification has been issued in this regard by the Ministry.
Under the first phase of lockdown between March 24th – April 14th, 2020, the government had only allowed delivery of essential goods, including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce platforms.
On April 15th, 2020, the Home Affairs Ministry issued revised consolidated guidelines for the lockdown, which has been extended till May 3rd, 2020. The Ministry had allowed e-commerce companies to sell non-essential items as well in the revised guidelines.
The e-commerce companies were also gearing up to deliver essential, non-essential items to deliver products like mobile phones and refrigerators to customers in areas that do not fall under COVID-19 hotspots from April 20th, 2020.