Karnataka eases lockdown curbs on e-commerce firms


With Covid cases declining by the day, Karnataka on Thursday eased extended lockdown restrictions on e-commerce and home-delivery firms.

“Delivery of all goods, including food, by e-commerce and home-delivery firms will be allowed from Friday,” said state Revenue Secretary N. Manjunath Prasad in a fresh order, withdrawing the May 9 order, restricting delivery of merchandise to curb movement of delivery personnel and vehicles.

The revised order will enable e-tailers and delivery firms to scale their operations, as the state is among the top 5 markets for online shopping across the country.

“The new order also eases curbs on movement of citizens, especially lawyers, their assistants and support staff to their offices during court working days,” said Prasad, who is the member-secretary of the state disaster management executive committee.

The order, however, restricts the functioning of law firms with 50 per cent of their staff strength.

The state government extended the lockdown till June 7 from May 24 to contain the virus spread, as positive cases and deaths spiked, especially in Bengaluru, which accounts for over 50 per cent of the state’s Covid tally as the epi-centre of the pandemic.

“The lockdown restrictions on all other activities will continue till 6 a.m. on June 7 as notified on May 22, with 4-hour relaxation from 6-10 a.m. daily for buying essential goods and daily needs like milk, fruits and vegetables,” an official said.