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E-tailers seek nat’l curfew passes, see improvement, Retail News, ET Retail

E-tailers seek nat’l curfew passes, see improvementNEW DELHI: Online retailers have demanded national passes for the movement of goods, a proposal that is likely to be shot down by the government, although they have indicated that the situation was improving for them in several states, barring a handful such as Delhi and Assam.

E-tailers had flagged the issue of passes at a meeting with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday, where they talked about problems in getting e-passes in Delhi and demanded that national passes be issued. Government sources, however, said that this may be tough to implement.

“A large number of the players said the situation has improved in the last 48 hours,” said a government source present in the meeting, adding that those such as Delhivery told the government on Tuesday that almost 80% of its workers were back.

E-tailers have also flagged concerns over trucks being stopped on the return journey to which the government is expected to clarify that those with e-way bills can use them on their return. This will, however, require a clarification or an advisory from the home ministry to the states. There was also a demand to use the idle air capacity for cargo operations by Indian carriers, something that the commerce and industry ministry is going to pursue.

During a separate meeting, there was a demand from export promotion councils to allow production for shipments outside the country, which was also turned down. Sources said Indian players had managed to join production networks and the current lockdown was a setback, but it would be tough to allow production for exports when the idea was to allow manufacturing of essential goods for domestic markets.

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