NEW DELHI: If you live in Delhi, Maharashtra, Jharkhand or any other part of the country facing lockdown; Then pray that there is no need to urgently buy smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices. State governments, which have announced bans to address the rising Covid-19 cases, have mandated that only essential items can be sold online and offline. Essential items are medicines, groceries, toiletries and other everyday household items. Cell phones, laptops, routers, batteries, devices and all other electronic devices are not on this list and are therefore not allowed to be sold online.
With mobile and electronics stores closed, people have no choice but to buy electronic items online. Hence, state governments made this decision to ensure a level playing field for online and offline businesses.
Earlier this month, as the number of coronavirus cases increased and speculation about a possible lockdown began, the Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT) emailed Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal to intervene and ensure that Ecommerce companies like this Amazon, Flipkart and others are also banned from delivering non-essential goods to curfewed states. The trade organization said this was extremely “important to maintain parity between online and offline trade”.
CAIT represents over eight Crore dealers across India through 40,000 trade associations. The trade organization said in its letter to the minister that e-commerce companies could lobby governments to pressure them to allow the sale and delivery of non-essential goods in places where lockouts and curfews have been imposed.
Ban isn’t just for Amazon and Flipkart
While e-commerce majors like Amazon and Flipkart have stopped shipping all electronic goods and only sell essential items for pin codes in Delhi and Maharashtra; In the online stores of chains like Croma, Reliance Digital and others, most electronic goods are either shown as out of stock or delivery dates will be postponed to May 2021 once a buyer selects these cities’ PIN codes.
Individual online shops such as those from Apple and Xiaomi Deliveries for residents of Delhi and Maharashtra have also been completely suspended, while other smartphone brands are displaying late delivery dates.
Laptop brands like HP and Lenovo have stopped deliveries during Dell shows most items as “out of stock”. Acer is showing delivery dates of at least April 27th for buyers in these regions.
Major ecommerce platforms stopping electronics delivery in Delhi and Maharashtra could be of concern as most employees in these two regions are working from home.