FAQ: Can I Order Clothes, Phones or AC Online During Lockdown 2.0?

Can you order non-essentials like mobile phones or readymade clothes? What does the revised government order mean?

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Can you order non-essentials like mobile phones or readymade clothes? What does the revised government order mean?
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A day before ‘relaxation’ of the nationwide lockdown came into effect in certain parts of the country, the Centre, on 19 April, revised its guidelines which allowed e-commerce companies to operate fully.

What does this mean? Can you order non-essentials like mobile phones or readymade clothes?

Here’s all you need to know about the government’s revised order.

Can I order non-essential commodities online?

As per the revised order by the Centre, e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, among others, are not allowed to sell non-essential items to customers during the lockdown.

What items are classified as non-essentials?

While the government has not specifically classified non-essentials, some commodities that come broadly under this category are:

  • Readymade clothes
  • Mobile phones
  • Laptops
  • Refrigerators
  • Air Conditioners
  • Television Sets
  • Washing Machine and other home appliances
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Bags and luggage
  • Home entertainment systems, speakers

What are the non-essential services available from 20 April?

Services provided by self-employed electricians, IT repairmen, plumbers, motor-mechanics and carpenters will be allowed from 20 April, when limited relaxation of lockdown norms comes into effect in certain areas.

Highway dhabas, truck repair shops, as well as call centres for government activities have also been allowed.

Why did the government change its stance?

Earlier, e-commerce companies were asked to start work from 20 April and get necessary clearance for movement of delivery vehicles. However, following this, retail traders had asked the government that local shops also be allowed to sell non-essentials items, like e-commerce giants.

"CAIT demolished a sinister plan of e-commerce companies to trade in non-essential commodities. Accepting the objection of CAIT, the MHA excluded the permission granted earlier and now e-commerce can only trade in essential commodities," said Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal.

What can I order from e-commerce platforms then?

According to the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the following items are classified as essential commodities:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  • Rice, wheat flour, other cereals and pulses
  • Sugar and salt, spices and masalas
  • Bakery and dairy, including milk and milk products
  • Tea and coffee
  • Eggs, meat and fish, food grains, oil
  • Masala and food ingredients
  • Packaged food and beverages
  • Health supplements
  • Infant and baby food
  • Animal feed and pet food
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Diapers
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Surface cleaners and disinfectants
  • Body wash and shampoos
  • Tissue papers, toothpaste and other oral care products
  • Battery cells and chargers

When can I order non-essential commodities online?

As per government directives, the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus is in place till 3 May. A decision regarding allowing e-commerce websites to supply non-essential commodities will be taken closer to that date. Watch this space for more updates on this.

(Email us at COVID19FAQs@thequint.com for all your queries related to coronavirus or the lockdown.)

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