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Maharashtra restricts e-commerce: New guidelines for online shopping explained

Maharashtra has imposed stringent curbs on e-commerce for the next 15 days to curtail the rising Covid-19 infections, state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced on Tuesday.

The Maharashtra government’s move is set to cripple manufacturing and other businesses in the region as the state is one of the largest e-commerce markets in India, thanks to capital Mumbai.

CM Thackeray has allowed e-commerce deliveries only for essential products. “Livelihoods are important, but life is more important. We need to increase existing restrictions,” CM Thackeray said.

This has triggered concerns among e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart over challenges of following the Covid-19 norms.

Essential items include:
Groceries, medicines and food are considered essentials for online deliveries. The restrictions will jolt e-commerce businesses, which had seen a surge in demand for work-from-home equipment during the lockdown in 2020.

Let’s take a look at the e-commerce guidelines:
a) E-commerce will be only allowed for the delivery of essential goods and services as mentioned in Section 2 of this order.

b) Every one engaged in the activity of home delivery or activity involving interaction with staff engaged in activity of home delivery to get vaccinated at the earliest, as per criteria of GOI and if an Organization running e-commerce falls in the eligibility criteria of GOI for workplace vaccination it most organise these vaccination camps at the earliest. For the staff not engaged in home delivery or in the activity of requiring interaction with staff engaged in home delivery shall follow the discipline laid down in (5) concerning offices.

c) All the home deliveries to buildings housing more than one family is expected to be restricted to the entrance of the building and internal movement of the delivery should be by dedicated staff of the building. It is also expected that all the interactions of home delivery staff and the building personnel are disciplined and COVID appropriate.

d) Any default on Covid Appropriate Behaviour while performing home delivery shall lead to a fine of ₹1000/-. Repeated offence may lead to withdrawal of license to operate till the end of notification of COVID 19 epidemic. LiveMint

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