Amazon shipping non-essentials in Maharashtra, Twitterati allege

In what gave the impression to be a smear marketing campaign in opposition to US e-commerce large Amazon, a number of customers on Twitter alleged on Sunday that it was violating lockdown norms in Maharashtra by shipping non-essential objects.

The subject “Amazon Defies Protocols” was trending with just below 4,000 tweets late on Sunday night time on the micro-blogging platform, with a number of customers supporting native merchants who had been pressured to shutter their companies through the ongoing lockdown-like restrictions in the state.

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A search by ET confirmed that the e-commerce market was shipping “non-essential” items comparable to laptops, charging cables, work and study-from-home furnishings to pin codes in Maharashtra.

Rivals Flipkart and Reliance Digital have been additionally discovered to be promoting some objects that had not been categorised as important items – largely laptops, tablets, cables and chargers – which the e-commerce business has beforehand argued as important.

On its web site, Reliance Digital mentioned that it was delivering “essential electronics” together with laptops, tablets, headphones and private care merchandise to clients in Maharashtra inside 2-3 days.

“The Maharashtra government themselves are being vague. They’ve asked us to sell whatever we feel is essential products, so each of the players has interpreted it in their own way,” an govt at one of many main e-commerce marketplaces, who pleaded anonymity given the controversy surrounding the difficulty, mentioned.

The state authorities’s April 13 pointers mentioned e-commerce corporations can be allowed to perform “only for the supply of essential goods and services”.

The pointers, nonetheless, didn’t present additional readability on what constituted important and non-essential items.

Amazon, Flipkart and Reliance Ltd didn’t reply to ET’s queries looking for remark until press time on Sunday.

The e-commerce business has argued that the excellence between important and non-essential objects was subjective and that with extra shoppers being at dwelling, research and work-from-home enablers have been additionally important merchandise, other than meals, groceries and private care merchandise.

ET reported earlier that the e-commerce business had approached the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) looking for intervention in Maharashtra.

In a letter, an business grouping had requested the DPIIT to make sure that ecommerce is allowed to perform “without any discrimination… in Maharashtra.”

ET had reviewed the contents of the letter.

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