In order to mitigate risks to the trade and a large workforce, industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested that the app-based cabs be permitted to act as delivery logistics for online and telephonic orders from the e-commerce players as also the traditional retail stores for household essentials in metro cities where social distancing is being encouraged to stay indoors, in the aftermath of Covid-19 health emergency.
“With people, rightly avoiding crowded markets, there has been a sharp increase in pick-up orders from online platforms. There has also been a big rise in families placing telephonic orders to the retail grocers who too are organising themselves into the home-delivery models of businesses. As there has been a rise in this format of selling, the delivery logistics can be filled in, as emergency and stop-gap measures, by lakhs of app-based cabs, who are facing a severe reduction in passengers,” said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood.
With a drop in hotel and restaurant business, including the app-driven home delivery models, there are thousands of delivery workforce who can also be used to fill in for logistic support to the neighbourhood grocers, pharmacies and other essential outlets. “However, such quick -fix solutions would require fast policy permissions from the state governments, transport and traffic authorities and IT solutions from the app-based firms. The time is of essence and once the states, in wider coordination from the Centre, put in place a well-defined set of rules, we can have emergency stop-gap business solutions to the extra-ordinary worldwide medical challenges,” the ASSOCHAM said.