Odisha on Monday allowed all e-commerce platforms, such as Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket, Grofers, Swiggy and Zomato, along with their third-party logistics partners, to resume operations during the second phase of the lockdown.
The state had earlier extended its lockdown up to April 30.
In a notification on April 13, the state government said home delivery of all goods through e-commerce will be allowed, in a departure from the practice nationwide where ecommerce firms have only been allowed to ship essentials such as food, groceries and medicines to consumers.
Apart from permitting the online platforms to resume operations fully, the state also said logistics players including DTDC and BlueDart will also be allowed to operate in the state. Large format offline retailers BigBazaar, Reliance Fresh and Spencer’s, too, will be allowed to do home deliveries, according to the notification.
“We welcome the directive… E-commerce has an important role to play in helping families stay home and stay safe,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson, confirming that the company will begin shipping all products as per the directive.
Odisha also said it would allow operations of online food ordering platforms Swiggy, Zomato, KFC, Dominos and Pizza Hut, among others, while also permitting take-away and home delivery from restaurants, including dhabas.
“We’ll certainly begin shipping all products in whichever state allows it within the constraints of whatever on-ground delivery staff that we have there,” said a senior executive of an e-commerce company who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We might see a spike in demand initially, but don’t expect people to shop for anything apart from essentials.”
Another person told ET that each state was coming up with its own ad-hoc rules and this could potentially create a lot of problems since products sold on platforms are sourced widely.
His company was awaiting guidelines from the home ministry before restarting operations fully, he said.
Odisha has, however, not announced any such concessions for sale of non-essential products through offline stores.
The notification said only stores dealing with the sale of essential items — food, grocery, dairy, meat and agricultural products – would be allowed to operate through the extended lockdown period.