New Delhi, May 17: The Ministry of Home Affairs in its fresh guidelines suggested that online shopping and e-commerce websites are allowed to operate in all zones, except containment zones.
This means, E-commerce platforms, which were earlier allowed to deliver non-essential items only in green and orange zones, will be allowed in red zones in the fourth phase of the lockdown.
"In lockdown 3.0, E-commerce activities were allowed in the red zones, but only for essential items. The guidelines for lockdown 4.0 do not make any such distinction. Therefore, e-commerce activities -- for both essential and non-essential items -- will be allowed in the red zones too," the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in its order.
However, the state governments would still take the final call on allowing businesses to function based on their local needs and situations, the Home Ministry added.
The government's move to allow E-commerce to operate in lockdown 4.0 is a big relief to the companies that were earlier allowed to sell only essential goods.
Amazon had said it had seen the biggest impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business internationally in India. The US e-commerce giant that has a strong presence in the country had been facing a tough time due to the lockdown that has temporarily contracted its business to essential items such as groceries.