E-Commerce companies to resume operations from 20 April

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Gadgets, televisions, refrigerators, and stationary items will be allowed to be sold through e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal from 20 April during the lockdown, officials said on Thursday.

The clarification from a senior home ministry official came a day after Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued revised guidelines for the extended lockdown period till 3 May.

However, the delivery vans of the e-commerce companies will need permission from authorities for plying on the roads. According to Wednesday’s guidelines, commercial and private establishments were allowed to operate during the extended lockdown.

“Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions,” the ministry said. The previous notifications of the home ministry had specifically said that e-commerce platforms are allowed to sell only essential goods like food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The move is being viewed as an attempt by the government to revive the industrial and commercial activities which have been stalled due to the lockdown since 25 March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The government has also allowed movement of all trucks and other goods/ carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the driver carrying a valid driving license.

Shops for truck repairs and dhabas (eateries) on highways, with a stipulated minimum distance as prescribed by the state and union territory authorities, will be allowed to operate.

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