The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken a u-turn on its earlier decision to allow delivery of non-essential items by e-commerce companies from April 20. In its previous order, the government had allowed all deliveries beginning Monday even though the COVID-19 lockdown was extended till May 3.
The latest order issued today has excluded e-commerce companies from the revised guidelines. Vehicles used by them will only be allowed to ply with the necessary permission, the order said.
Following the previous order issued on April 15, three states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had given nod to e-commerce operations in their respective states. Odisha had done so even before the central government’s announcement.
The state governments are likely to come out with a revised notification too.
While the government hasn’t clarified the reason behind its latest move, a press release by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that the supply of non-essential goods by e-commerce companies will remain prohibited.
The order could well be in light of the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India with positive cases at 15,712 and over 500 deaths. Maharashtra, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have been hit hard by the spread of the virus.
The exclusion of e-commerce from the revised list shows that the government is weighing and revisiting its strategy daily to contain the pandemic.