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Govt holds meeting with retail sector stakeholders; may include more essential items

The meeting assumes importance in the backdrop of reports of e-commerce platforms unable to complete delivery due to the imposition of a country-wide curfew.
Mar 25, 2020 / 06:28 PM IST
Representative image
Representative image

The government on March 25 held a meeting with representatives from retail, e-commerce and various other supply chain stakeholders to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities in the country.

The meeting assumes importance in the backdrop of reports of e-commerce platforms unable to complete delivery due to the imposition of a country-wide curfew.

"We have talked to stakeholders and have assured them that police will be told to be more sensitive and we'll ensure they know the guidelines well," a senior government official told Moneycontrol.

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The meeting was taken by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla with representatives of retail trade, e-commerce companies and stakeholders from other retail bodies on March 25.

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"We have  raised various important issues regarding regular movement of atleast essential commodities so that the citizens may not suffer in the troubled times," said Praveen Khandelwal, General Secretary, Confederation of All India Traders.

The other issues that were discussed in the meeting were supply of raw materials for production of essential commodities, safety of essential commodity traders and to prevent any possible harassment.

Khandelwal said that from the discussion it has emerged that some more critical items may also be added to the list of essential commodities.

"The non- availability of transport and other logistical issues have also been raised. We have also requested for the transport sector to be included in the discussions and stressed their important role in maintaining logistical support to the entire nation," he said.

Necessary steps would be taken in a manner so as not to dilute the impact of the lockdown, the official said.

On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown, similar to a curfew, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

E-commerce platforms like Big Basket and Grofers among others have announced suspension of operations as reports of police brutality on delivery partners poured in from across the country.
Kamalika Ghosh
first published: Mar 25, 2020 06:28 pm

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