Amazon and Flipkart Have Now Started Taking Undue Advantage of the Pandemic: Traders' Body

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Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), in a letter to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, said that large e-commerce companies are continuing to supply non-essential items despite government orders to avoid such deliveries.

“In furtherance of the illegal activities being carried out by Amazon and Flipkart, they have now started taking undue advantage of the pandemic by making illegitimate financial gains by supplying non-essential items which have been prohibited by many state administrations” reads the letter.

This in turn is hurting kirana stores and small businessmen who are unable to step out because of the lockdown, they added. This is the third time that the traders’ body has notified the matter to the Union Minister.

Several state governments and Delhi have announced restrictions on movement of goods and people and also imposed curfews to tackle the rising cases of Covid-19.

While there are strict restrictions in place for the general public, governments have allowed online shopping.

CAIT represents over eight crore traders across India through 40,000 trade associations. The trade body in its letter to the minister had said that e-commerce companies may "pressurise" the governments, through lobby groups, to allow sale and delivery of non-essential goods in places where lockdown and curfews have been imposed.

The CAIT had also said that the selling of non-essentials via e-commerce platforms would create an "uneven level-playing field" for the traders whose shops would remain shut for compliance of the curfew orders.

The earlier letter written by the CAIT came in response to the requests made by e-commerce companies to the Maharashtra government to allow non-essential deliveries through their platforms under the ongoing restrictions.

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