With the aim of ensuring the supply of essential goods without disruptions, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday night issued a fresh set of guidelines to exempt e-commerce platforms engaged in delivery of such goods.
"It is provided that delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-Commerce will remain operational," said the communication issued by Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.
"All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-Commerce companies should be allowed to operate ensuring strict social distancing", the Ministry clarified.
There were several reports of e-commerce operations on delivery of essential services getting affected due to indiscriminate police action.
"While warehousing facilities with wholesalers and retailers of essential goods might have non essential goods, they should not be closed down for the fact that non-essential items are also stored. The retail end of the supply chain shall operate only in essential goods as specified in the orders at MHA. They will provide an undertaking to this effect and also allow subsequent audit of their records with a view to ensure compliance," the MHA said.
"Employees or persons engaged in the supply chain shall be allowed to commute on the basis of e-pass or any other certification Issued by the concerned local authority. In addition, the said employee/ person shall carry a valid photo identification card", stated the Ministry.
The order said the the following constituents of supply chain should be permitted to function :
- Suppliers of essential goods, including restaurants supplying home delivery of cooked food items.
- Facilities for storage of such essential goods which may be known as warehouses, godown etc.
- Transporters/drivers/loaders etc, of essential goods from the place of manufacture to wholesalers and/or retailers.
- Manufacturing units of essential goods including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw materials and intermediaries.
#IndiaFightsCoronavirus— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) March 26, 2020
MHA issues SOPs for maintaining supply of Essential Goods, in order to relieve hardships faced by people during #Lockdown21.
Union Home Secretary writes to all States/UTs to let e-commerce remain operational & encourage home delivery of essential goods. pic.twitter.com/V9ycEXhvWy
The Prime Minister declared 21 days national lockdown on Tuesday night in order to break the transmission chain of COVID-19 virus.