Finance Minister says government may define 'essential' goods for permitted delivery
As there exists inconsistencies in what different states classify as ‘essential’ goods, the government will look into creating a pan-India definition to clarify the situation for retailers, local authorities, and shoppers alike.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told industry leaders at a recent meeting that the government will look into the inconsistencies in the definitions of essential goods to enable retailers to operate efficiently, the Press Trust of India reported. Sitharaman had met with members of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry who reported that the inconsistencies in which goods are permitted for home delivery in various locations is causing problems for the retail industry.
Sitharaman will take the matter to a group of ministers for review, sources told the Press Trust of India. However, neither Sitharaman nor the FICCI have yet made a public statement on the matter.
As more and more cities go into localised lockdowns, retailers are trying to keep up with regulations and keep their business afloat. E-commerce retailers in Mumbai are already experiencing delays in home deliveries, ET Bureau recently reported.
Retailer bodies including the Retailers Association of India are calling for more goods to be included in the permitted category. However, the government is struggling with oxygen shortages in hospitals and is trying to keep roads clear for oxygen tanker deliveries. As the situation remains uncertain, retailers are once again attempting to adapt and mitigate damage.
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