As after the MHA guidelines for the lockdown 2.0, while there have been allowed relaxations for e-commerce entities, leading companies are looking for clarity as to what constitutes essential items.
From April 20, e-commerce companies, courier service, cold storage as well as warehouses have been allowed to function. "Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions," they said.
Until now e-commerce companies during the first phase of lockdown till April 14 were allowed to deliver only food items and pharma, nonetheless now the scope has been increased to also deliver non-essentials including electronic items.
"The order is not clear. It is confusing, and if you look at certain sections (section 14) they are ambiguous, and people are interpreting it in the way they want. We would want e-commerce to mean everything we are seeking prior to the lockdown", said people from the industry who approached government officials for clarity on the development.
A commerce ministry official said it is hard to distinct between essential and non-essential items.
"Since the guidelines will come into force only from 20 April, a formal clarification may be issued later," he added.
A Flipkart spokesperson said the company is working to ensure that customers have access to all products. "We will continue to contribute meaningfully in this battle by bringing products that consumers need at their doorsteps," the spokesperson said.
Sumit Agarwal, national secretary, Confederation of All India Traders, tweeted: "Let it be clear to all e-commerce companies in India and to all those who have somehow misinterpreted or misunderstood the #MHA guidelines. Delivery of only and only essential goods has been permitted even after 20th April. There is absolutely no confusion whatsoever."