Making a fresh demand for expanding the "essential services" category, two top industry bodies have urged the government to allow sales and services of mobile phones, laptops and tablets.
In a joint letter sent to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 22, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) recommended "allowing the sale and service of mobile devices and its accessories without any further delay."
In a letter to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday, ICEA reiterated that essential services should include "service and maintenance outlets / warehouses for mobile phones and mobile devices" and "sales of mobile phones and mobile devices via physical and e-commerce platforms that are allowed to deliver 'essential goods' in the country."
ICEA estimated that nearly 2.5 crore Indian users of smartphones, feature phones and mobile devices such as tablets and laptops are now facing the crisis of having to work without a faulty device.
"We have written to the government that these numbers will expand to nearly four crores before the end of May," Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA, said in a statement.
"It is critical that mobile device sales via online, and in a phased manner via retail, as well as service centres with facilities for home delivery and pickup must be declared as 'essential services', in addition to grocery and medicines," Mohindroo added.