New Delhi: The Retailers Association of India (RAI) on Sunday said the rules for home delivery of products should be broad-based and all types of retailers, including neighbourhood stores should be allowed to operate. Also Read - Lockdown Effect: Retail Inflation Eases to 1% in March, Lowest in Four Months

The statement comes on the backdrop of the Centre’s decision to allow online sale of only essential goods till May 3. The government has allowed e-commerce companies and the vehicles used by operators of these units to supply only essential goods subject to “necessary permission” during the lockdown. Also Read - Retail Inflation Eases to 5.91% in March; Back in RBI's Comfort Zone

“We believe that to fulfill consumer needs in these trying times, rules for direct customer delivery need to be broad-based and all types of retailers including neighbourhood stores should be allowed to operate,” RAI said in a statement. Also Read - RAI Writes to RBI, Seeks 4% Interest Subvention For 9 Months For Retail Sector

The industry body said that such a decision will allow retailers to support smooth implementation of social distancing norms, through contactless delivery, strict hygiene and safety standards, for such work from home essentials as mobiles, laptops, infant garments and household supplies.

It said that neighbourhood stores and large essential products chain retailers have done a great service to the nation thus far and widening of the essential products categories will help them support government’s steps to ensure the safety of its people while also enabling movement of goods required for economic activity.