Amazon India has requested the central government to allow also allow the delivery of non-essential products through the online platform. This is the second plea made by the US-headquartered company to the centre. The central government has banned the delivery of all non-essential items online. Earlier this month, the e-commerce companies had announced the acceptance of online orders from 21st April. But after clarification from the centre, the ban on such deliveries continued.
Claiming e-commerce as the safest way to ensure social distancing, Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Head of Amazon India on Twitter wrote, "e-commerce offers the safest way to ensure social distancing, saving lives and livelihoods. We urge the govt to allow us to deliver all products (not just essentials) that citizens need over a prolonged period so that they can stay safe, while simultaneously jump-starting MSMEs."
Accusation of monopoly
As the lockdown cripples almost all small scale businesses, there have been accusations against e-commerce players such as Amazon on monopolizing business given their robust supply chain. In fact, as per media reports, since the beginning of 2020 Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has added almost $24 billion to his fortune. With people sitting at home and ordering online, these e-commerce players are actually getting richer even as other businesses cripple.
However, the appeal made by Amit Agarwal on Twitter did not go well with users as it accused the company of monopoly and unfair trade practice. Dr. Vandana Shiva wrote, "JeffBezos got richer by $ 24 billion since lockdown If they get permission to supply non-essential items while small shops stay shut, it is a monopoly & unfair trade practice Small trade will never recover even after lockdown."
As the lockdown deadline is getting over next week, the government is expected to allow some more shops to be conduct business but only outside containment zones.