The home ministry on Sunday changed its earlier decision and disallowed sale of non-essential items through e-commerce platforms after opposition from political parties and traders.
Mobile phone companies are making arrangements to resume partial operations at around 25 per cent production capacity by the end of this month and scale up to full capacity by June-end if sales are allowed in the country. The home ministry on Sunday changed its earlier decision and disallowed sale of non-essential items through e-commerce platforms after opposition from political parties and traders.
This has an impact on sales of mobile phones also as it does not fall under essential categories as of now.
However, the government order to allow manufacturing of information technology hardware, which includes mobile phones, continues to remain in effect.
Senior executives of mobile phone companies in India are hopeful that the government may include mobile devices in the essential item category to support work from home, education, access to emergency service online during the lockdown.
All the manufacturers have applied for permission to the state government authorities and are waiting for their approval
“Restarting manufacturing operations is challenging but feasible. The industry is gearing up with requisite permissions from state governments that are in the pipeline. State governments are evaluating permissions based on no infringement of the home ministry guidelines,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo told on Sunday.
The industry body in a submission to the Ministry of Electronics and IT has shared a full protection plan from the coronavirus infection when they resume operations.
This includes health monitoring of employees, personal protective equipment for personnel at important points, gloves and masks for employees, entry through air shower sanitisation system, sitting in zig-zag manner and no assembly of people in groups, among others.
“We have given world-class health standard operating procedures which the industry will adopt and follow. At the moment only the export window is open for despatches. As soon as the clarification on mobiles as essential goods is issued we will be able to fulfil domestic demand,” Mohindroo said.
In the plan, the industry has given timeline to operationalise 25 per cent of the total capacity by April-end and 100 per cent by June-end.
The mobile phone industry is estimated to have faced losses of around Rs 15,000 crore during the first phase of lockdown which started on March 24 and was to end on April 14.
Due to rise in cases of the coronavirus infection, the government further extended lockdown till May 3.
Leading mobile phone companies Xiaomi and Vivo said they are evaluating the new government order and complying with all the rules.
“We have just received an update from the MHA suspending e-commerce for non-essential items, affecting our decision about operating http://Mi.com from tomorrow (Monday). We are studying this, and will update you soon. We will of course follow all govt guidelines,” Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain tweeted on Sunday.
The company was all set to start accepting orders on its official website and start shipping orders.
Realme had announced the launch of new smartphone Narzo series on April 21 but has put the decision on hold following the revised government order.
“Realme was planning to start online sales of its smartphones from April 20 and launch its Narzo series on April 21 through e-commerce platforms. But bearing in mind the current order from MHA, we are evaluating the situation and decision about the launch of the much-awaited Narzo series and online sales of our other smartphones will be made by tomorrow,” Realme stated.
According to industry sources, mobile phone companies will look to meet export requirements, which are around 12 per cent of the total production done in India.
In 2019-20, mobile phone players in India exported devices worth about Rs 25,000 crore and the total production is estimated to have crossed Rs 2 lakh crore.