FAIITA (Federation of All India IT Associations), a national level umbrella organization with different ICT associations as members, has written to the PMO voicing the concerns of ICT partner Community over the MHA Guidlines issued on 15/04/2020. Govt has allowed online retailers to supply IT products to customers from April 21, 2020 without giving any relief to the offline retailers who form a major part of ICT supply chain. FAIITA’s letter was aimed at drawing the govt’s attention to an important point of concern over the MHA guidelines. The guidelines have allowed e-commerce companies by clause no 13(i) to operate with the online delivery model only for essential items. However, it is observed by the trade and industry that etailers have started gearing up themselves from 21st April onwards to delivering of all types of goods including specifically IT and Communication equipment like Laptops, Desktops, Mobiles and other accessories.
If this is allowed, the IT fraternity across India will face a grave situation with a further imbalance in the level playing field and also will raise many unnecessary conflicts and issues. The Brick and Mortar showrooms of IT and Telecommunication, the Tear2 and Tear3 partners of IT community, who are carrying stocks with them will not be able to deliver the goods to the much-needed customers due to the lockdown. On the other hand, the etailers or Online shops will be in a position to deliver the non-essential goods under the shadow of an opening provided to them by the government only for essential items for the needy citizens of India under lockdown. As we are all aware that the B&M shops and channel community is the backbone of IT hardware fraternity, and, if the kind of disadvantage taken by etailers or online shops would be a deadly blow on the spine of the IT trade.
Small IT traders, Brick & Mortar showrooms and T2 & T3 partners have otherwise also not done any sort of business during March as well as in April. Now, if these etailers and Online Shops are given a window to operate from 21st April onwards, they will drain the entire business for May from B&M showrooms and IT channel. This will create an unimaginable situation for B&M and IT channel with no business on hand and yet to meet the challenge of paying salary and all the fixed expenses.
FAIITA urged the government to take immediate action on the same and amend the guidelines that etailers or online shops can do the delivery of only essential goods during the lockdown period. FAIITA also requested the government to amend the guidelines that local vendors operating from Orange and Green Zone shall be allowed to carry out business through their on-line websites/platforms.
Earlier FAIITA has effectively negotiated with the government regarding the issues concerning ICT community and got the government to amend the laws. We hope this time too FAIITA will be successful in bring out the expected changes in the guidelines.