Though the new guidelines clearly spell out that only delivery of essentials will be allowed in red zones, permissions for orange and green zones are still not spelt out clearly.
Senior executives of e-commerce firms like Amazon and Flipkart said they are closely monitoring the MHA announcement. For now, however, they are working on the assumption that selling non-essentials will be allowed in green and orange zones, and special passes won’t be required.
“E-commerce firms can function once state governments come out with a notification, and that what we are waiting for,” said a senior executive of an e-commerce player, who wished to remain anonymous.
An executive of another e-commerce player said that the entity wouldn’t immediately consider the U-turn that the government made last month on allowing e-commerce firms to allow selling both essential and non-essential items.
Separately, the liquor industry also welcomed the government’s green signal for sale in designated zones. “We welcome the decision to restart liquor trade. We have always said that the cost of liquor shutdown far outweighs its benefits, if any. At the same time, we reiterate that the administration should clearly spell out social distancing and hygiene guidelines for shops, warehouses, shipping, and factories; these must be followed without fail,” said Vinod Giri, director general of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC).