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Allow full operations of e-commerce as first step to normalcy: IAMAI

Full operations of e-commerce companies should be opened up while moving towards normalcy as these services can help in supporting social distancing by delivering products at the door, industry body IAMAI said on Thursday.

Internet and Mobile Association of India, whose members include Flipkart, Amazon Seller Services, eBay etc, said that e-commerce services can facilitate delivery from producers and sellers to more than 75-100 million active customers on various platforms across 19,000 pincode areas.

“E-commerce services are the only means to ensure social distancing while still maintaining economic operations in the country. For every one e-commerce delivery person, the country can help 350 people avoid a trip to a physical retail outlet daily.

Therefore, a fully functional e-commerce delivery chain is the best means to ensure social distancing and ensuring a restricted congregation of the population,” IAMAI said.

The government has allowed operation of e-commerce services only for delivery of essential items. Due to restrictions imposed during lockdown and spike in orders, e-commerce companies have delayed their delivery time at various places. IAMAI said the wide reach of e-commerce can help in generating demand and revenue for the lakhs of small sellers, distributors, manufacturers and thereby support the livelihoods of the numerous people employed in these and associated activities.

“The various platforms can also directly empower local ”kirana” (grocery) shops by facilitating the ordering and delivery of goods from them, thereby providing a critical lifeline to such entities presently struggling under the lockdown,” the association said.

“Full opening of B2C services, in both products and services categories via e-commerce platforms is the first and most important step to return to normal economic activity. Normal economic activity according to the association broadly comprises the opening of manufacturing and services on one end and their availability to consumers on the other,” IAMAI said.

―Outlook India

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