E-commerce companies request govt to allow home-delivery services

Several e-commerce firms have requested the government to allow home delivery services amid the prohibitory orders imposed in several districts of Nepal.

While the government has allowed food-related industries and shops to operate, albeit for limited hours, no decision has been taken so far regarding operation of e-commerce companies.

E-commerce companies, stating that the government failed to realise the importance of e-commerce platforms during such a critical situation, submitted a request letter to the chief district officers of all three districts of the Kathmandu valley on Tuesday, the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.

The companies have also stated that home delivery services could help reduce the spread of coronavirus and they aid in reducing crowds at shops and outlets.

The companies also pointed at the need for coordination with various platforms to ensure safe home delivery services by encouraging digital payments.

The statement added that e-commerce companies had faced obstruction and arrests from state authorities while providing services in a safe manner even during the first wave of the pandemic last year.

“It is important to understand that e-commerce is safe because it is easy to carry out contact-tracing, there is no black marketing as there is a clear price receipt, and delivery is done while maintaining physical distance,” the statement reads.

Reminding that transport workers have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 in collaboration with the Department of Health Services, e-commerce entrepreneurs demanded the government to allow delivery personnel to carry out their services as they’ll be in possession of their professional identity cards.

Although Sasto Deal is delivering food in collaboration with government-owned Food Management and Trading Co Ltd, other companies are currently not allowed to operate during the period of prohibitory orders.

The statement has also stated that along with food items, stationery items should be listed as essential goods as students are taking classes online due to the prohibitory orders.