Sales of smartphones and other electronic items will remain prohibited until May 3rd, as per the latest new directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that came on Sunday. The new order comes after the MHA eased restriction on e-commerce portals allowing them to resume operations from April 20.
An earlier order seemed to have given e-commerce platforms and smartphone brands some hope of resuming sales as it did not contain any specific clauses of “essential or “non-essential goods”. However, the latest order clearly mentions the ban will be upheld for non-essential items till May 3rd. Since smartphones do not come under the essential category, smartphone OEMs will have to delay sales as well.
#IndiaFightsCoronaSupply of non-essential goods by e-commerce companies to remain prohibited during #Lockdown2 to fight #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/6Jdvuzw6VJApril 19, 2020
Flipkart and Amazon had opened orders for smartphones on their apps after the initial order but it is now certain that deliveries will not take place. The Realme Narzo series launch is also set to be delayed because of the latest order and may only launch once e-commerce sales of smartphones are given approval.
Xiaomi, which was set to resume sales also, has confirmed that it is looking closely into the matter and will issue an update soon. As things stand, e-commerce vehicles will be allowed to ply only with “necessary permissions”. The move to ease restrictions by the government was in order to give the economy a fresh restart as the lockdown had hit all industrial sectors hard.