Smartphone makers seek essential commodity status

Mobile smart phones

Top-selling smartphone manufacturers are asking the government to classify handsets as an essential commodity which can be delivered to customers through e-commerce platforms amid the 21-day national lockdown in India.

Industry bodies Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology (MAIT) and India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) have written to the government seeking concessions in the delivery of smartphones among other electronics devices and removal of restrictions on the movement of components for inland and export purposes.

In its letter dated March 27 to the government, MAIT, the apex body of electronic product makers, suggested that ecommerce companies be listed under essential services and enabled to carry out deliveries under a controlled logistics framework.

The ICEA wrote to the government saying that states and district authorities were being overcautious by not allowing inbound or outbound movement of electronics goods, despite the home ministry’s clarification over this. Both bodies said electronics manufacturers were sitting on large inventories meant for export and not allowing movement would jeopardise their ability to fulfil such shipments.