COVID-19 Lockdown: Government To Mobilize E-commerce Logistics To Link Consumers With Kirana Shops

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COVID-19 Lockdown: Government To Mobilize E-commerce Logistics To Link Consumers With Kirana Shops

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Messaging platforms such as Whatsapp will be roped in to connect consumers with Kirana stores, who will pay via digital payment tools such as UPI and BHIM. The stores will then send the goods via logistics firms' support.

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Using the network of logistics firms that have till now provided connectivity to e-commerce companies, the government has forged a scheme to get Kirana stores to directly deliver essentials at the doorstep of citizens.

Messaging platforms such as Whatsapp will be roped in to connect consumers with Kirana stores, who will pay via digital payment tools such as UPI and BHIM.

Through their delivery chains, the logistics firms will then pick up grocery and other products from the stores. The Aarogya Setu is proposed to be put to use to avoid any risk in the chain. Consumer data privacy will be maintained.

According to the officials, the state governments and local administration can also use the network to deliver grains and pulses from a public distribution network to consumers.

As of now, the district administration is implementing the lockdown across states relying on local traders to supply using e-rickshaws and other modes, The Times Of India reported.

The department for the promotion of industry and internal trade, which has reportedly, already tested this plan in six cities, including Varanasi. The platform will be deployed over the next few days.

The onboarding process has begun for the manufacturers and is aligned for the supply of essential commodities. The tech partners are being roped in for logistics and digitization of their services.

"During the crisis, it has been reiterated through several meetings with industry and government stakeholders that Kiranas have stood tall, while the online machinery has collapsed. Online grocery is just 2-5 per cent of the overall grocery business. Kirana stores are the lifeline. Our sales to Kiranas have increased by 50 per cent during this time. At a time when FMCGplayers are operating at 15-20 per cent capacity, they should be given first preference," said Arvind Mediratta, Metro Cash& Carry India.

The government seems to be using the COVID-19 outbreak to make Kirana stores self-sufficient to take on the supermarket chains and e-commerce players, who are faltering in their service during the lockdown.

The Prime Minister in his third address to the nation on April 14, extended the ongoing lockdown till May 3 to contain the transmission of COVID-19.

PM Modi hinted at a partial relief, however, saying that there could be some relaxations after April 20 in places where there is no hotspot.

Also Read: Religion Paranoia: Muslim Vendors Allegedly Abused, Stopped From Selling Goods in UP

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