Amazon and Flipkart have started accepting orders for non-essential items after a long hiatus of over a month. The companies stop accepting orders for non-essential items when the government instated a lockdown on 25 March. After the second phase of lockdown ended on 3 May, the government eased some restrictions on movement of people to help revive businesses and keep the economy safe.

The government has allowed e-commerce for non-essential items in both green and orange zones. Red zones, however, are still out of bounds for delivery of non-essential items. The list of zones will be updated on a weekly basis and the red zones that transition into orange or green zones will be allowed to receive delivery from e-commerce websites.

The government will release the updated list of districts and their classification but interested buyers can check for availability within Flipkart or Amazon by entering their respective pincodes.

Despite the government allowing e-commerce in green and orange zones, most of the metro cities that are responsible for a major chunk of businesses are still in the red zone. E-commerce companies have been attempting to convince the government to allow non-essential items in the red zones as well by adhering to strict hygiene guidelines.

In an earlier response to Mint an Amazon spokesperson stated, “While we will maintain the sanctity of the new guidelines around the Red Zones, we urge 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.”

Despite the latest changes, most of the e-commerce activities, even in green and orange zones, will be subject to separate rules from the state government. Most of the items on either of the websites,(Amazon and Flipkart) are still not deliverable because of lack of enough stocks in that region.

News Source: Livemint


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