Supply of non-essential goods prohibited for E-commerce companies

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New Delhi, 19 Apr 2020 : It has been clarified by Ministry of Home Affairs that supply of non-essential goods by e-commerce companies will remain prohibited during lockdown.

Kumar Rajagopalan – CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, “As RAI, we believe that to fulfill consumer needs in these trying times, rules for direct customer delivery need to be broad based and all types of retailers including neighborhood stores should be allowed to operate. This will allow retailers to support smooth implementation of social distancing norms, through contactless delivery, strict hygiene and safety standards, for such work from home essentials as mobiles, laptops, infant garments & household supplies.

Neighborhood stores and  Large essential products chain retailers have done a great service to the nation thus far & widening of the essential products categories will help us support Govt’s steps to ensure safety of its people while also enabling movement of goods required for economic activity.”


e-Commerce companies to continue to operate for Essential Goods as has been allowed earlier

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order to exempt certain activities under the consolidated revised guidelines to all Ministries/Departments (, regarding the Nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19.

In an Order today, clause 14(v) of the consolidated revised guidelines, relating to E-commerce companies has been excluded. In this regard it is again clarified that while operations of e-commerce companies for non-essential goods stands prohibited, however they will continue to operate for essential goods as has been allowed earlier and continue to be allowed under clause 13(i) of these guidelines.

MHA has communicated this to all States/UTs and requested them to clarify this to all the field agencies and also adequately disseminate amongst the general public so as to ensure smooth movement of the entire supply chain of essential goods, including by e-commerce. It has also been communicated that the guidelines/ Orders issued by the State Governments/ UT Administration in pursuance to MHA Orders may be suitably modified to reflect the correct position.