KATHMANDU, June 4: The E-Business Association of Nepal (EBAN) has said that the fresh prohibitory orders enforced by the district administration offices (DAOs) in the Kathmandu Valley have failed to sufficiently address provisions concerning easing of home delivery services despite multiple rounds of discussion with the authorities.
The EBAN has criticized the current restrictions, particularly referring to the outdated definition of essential products and the restricted operating times, limited till 9AM in the Kathmandu Valley, saying it negatively affects consumers as well as thousands of small and medium businesses affiliated with e-commerce platforms.
“The E-business association and its member companies have always been committed to following all safety measures imposed by the government — maintaining 2-meter distance; equipping delivery workers with sanitizers, gloves, masks; constantly monitoring the health of staff. We offer a safer alternative to the general public," said President of EBAN, Sagar Bhattarai.
While urging the government to address their concerns for the greater good of society, Bhattarai said allowing home delivery services for all goods helps in preventing further spread of the virus. It eases the sufferings of many small and medium businesses operating through e-businesses, and keeps the economy going.
As the lockdown has continued for over a month since it was imposed on 29th April 2021, work-from-home necessities like stationery, mobiles and computers have become as essential to consumers as food and clothing. However, the authorities have not taken sufficient steps to address the need of such goods to students, office workers, and other members of the general population. Most businesses have been hit hard by the restrictions due to COVID-19. If e-commerce companies were allowed to deliver in general, not limited to few product groups, this problem could be solved, while at the same time it would ensure the safety of consumers who can avoid leaving their houses, said the EBAN statement.
The statement further said that countries and respective governments across the globe have been heavily promoting e-commerce and home delivery due to its evident benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, including neighboring India, Bangladesh, Pakistan. "Such countries have not imposed any curb on home delivery, ensuring the safety of consumers while boosting the domestic economy. Allowing home delivery will restrict movement of people for buying various items and would support implementing the government’s COVID-19 protocols," added the statement.