Grofers user gets delivery slot for April 13, no slots on Bigbasket
Day 2 of COVID-19 lockdown was no different for people who tried to book online delivery of essential items like groceries, milk and vegetables at Bigbasket, Grofers and other online platforms.
 
To one user's amusement, he got the next delivery slot on Grofers for Monday, April 13.
 
"When trying to place a new order, the earliest delivery date is coming out to be Monday 13th April. I mean seriously? 19 day waiting period during a lockdown of 21?" Tanmay posted to Grofers on Twitter.
 
The online delivery platform replied: "Due to the current situation and spike in demand, you have experienced a high turnaround time for the delivery of your order. While we understand that this isn't ideal, we're acting to execute things for you as soon as possible".
 
The company said it has gone live in a few cities with the help of local authorities nd is hopeful of restarting operations in other cities within a day or two. It, however, did not disclose in which cities it has resumed delivery of essential items.
 
People experienced similar woes on Bigbasket.
 
Noida resident Arun Kumar, 42, placed an order for fruits on Thursday morning and got the message from Bigbasket: "Unfortunately, we do not have any available slots to service you right now. Please try again later".
 
Bigbasket posted on Twitter: "Our delivery executives are working around the clock and overtime to deliver essentials to as many customers as possible".
 
A Pune resident replied: "Didn't get delivery of Milk today, vegetable orders already canceled. Plz confirm "tomorrow u guys going to deliver milk or not?"
 
On food delivery platform Swiggy, some new restaurants popped up for Noida Sector 143 residents, although no known restaurants names were available.
 
Some city authorities late on Wednesday allowed home delivery of essential goods by online apps.
 
Gurugram Police Commissioner Mohammad Akil said that operators like Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, Bluedart, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, Bigbasket, Milk Basket, Dunzo, Big Bazaar, and Iffco Tokyo will be allowed to continue delivery services.
 
Online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon along with delivery platforms like Bigbasket, Grofers and FreshToHomes hit a major blockade as local authorities shut warehouses and sent delivery boys back, even harassed them.
 
Millions of people across cities were left helpless at homes as essential items did not reach their doors despite placing orders well in advance.
 
Despite the assurance from local authorities, the situation remained grim on Thursday.
 
Amazon India posted on its website that "considering the prevailing extensive lockdowns and restriction in movement, pending deliveries will be delayed. New ordering is available only on essential products through pre-paid payment methods".
 
"We are continuously evaluating the situation and working towards resuming deliveries soon".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
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    Railways extends time limit to stay in its retiring rooms
    Even as thousands of passengers were left stranded at railway stations across India in the wake of suspension of train services, the Indian Railways on Monday announced relaxation in the time limit prescribed for passengers to stay in its retiring rooms.
     
    This relaxation shall be in force till normal train services resume.
     
    "It has been brought to our notice that certain passengers were lodged in railway retiring rooms and supposed to travel by train in a day or two, but are now stuck as all trains stand cancelled and they have nowhere else to go.
     
    "So, the Railway Board has decided that in all such cases, the stay may be extended in supersession of the relevant rule that limits the number of days passengers can stay in retiring rooms," a senior Railway Ministry official here said.
     
    The decision comes in the wake of suspension of all public transport across the country due to coronavirus scare.
     
    "All station masters will be conveyed this instruction quickly for the benefit of stranded passengers," he added.
     
    In view of the ‘Janata Curfew' called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi between 7 am and 9 pm on Sunday, trains that began their journeys before the morning limit will reach their destinations.
     
    Services of over 13,600 trains, including passenger, mail and express, were suspended from Sunday midnight to March 31. Only freight trains shall operate to ensure supply of essential items.
     
    On Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 384, with seven casualties.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylif is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Your fuel bill will be drastically lower sans govt's greed for revenue
    You must be wondering why the current freefall in the global oil market is not resulting in commensurate or sharp fall in retail price of petrol and diesel.
     
    The answer lies in a plethora of taxes that both Central and state governments levy on the two auto fuels that rob the customers of the real gains that accrue from a subdued oil market.
     
    The current base price of petrol stands at just Rs 27.96 a litre while diesel at Rs 31.49 a litre in Delhi (as on March 16, 2020). But customers were paying Rs 69.59 and Rs 62.29 for the two petroleum products, respectively, at the pumps in Delhi on Thursday. Bulk of the retail price consists of taxes that are levied by both the Centre and state governments and forms an important revenue sources for them.
     
    Central taxes (excise duty) on petrol and diesel stands at Rs 22.98 and Rs 18.83 per litre, respectively, while Delhi levies a VAT of Rs 14.79 per litre on petrol and Rs 9.19 per litre on diesel, effectively taking the total tax component on the two auto fuels to a staggering 54 per cent in the case of petrol and 45 per cent in the case of diesel. 
     
    The component of taxes is much higher in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and few others states that keep petrol and diesel retail prices much higher for customers in these states.
     
    "Even though petrol and diesel prices have been freed from the administered price mechanism, high level of taxes and the invisible control that the Centre exercises on public sector oil companies prevent market forces from taking over auto fuel pricing, keeping customers away from the gains that could have accrued in this market where crude prices have settled at just around $25 a barrel now," said an oil sector analyst with one of the big four consultancy firms asking not to be named.
     
    So, though the base price of petrol and diesel has fallen by a staggering Rs 7-8 per litre since January 2020, higher level of taxes, which is levied at fixed rate, has kept the retail prices from falling commensurately. 
     
    In fact, the Centre raised excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre effective March 14, robbing customers of more gains that should have flowed this month as global oil prices have fallen by more than 35 per cent in the last 10 days.
     
    According to a report from ICICI Securities, auto fuel net marketing margin is now estimated at Rs 11.63 per litre on April 1, if there are no price cuts by oil companies till that time. 
     
    Even if the daily price cut on petrol and diesel remains between 15 and 30 paisa till April 1, the marketing margin will remain high at Rs 8-10 per litre. This very high level of margin with the companies is also robbing customers of the gains.
     
    A look at the current crude prices and prevailing retail prices of auto fuels makes things more clear. The current crude price (Indian basket) of around $26 a barrel is same to the prices that prevailed in 2002 when petrol retailed at just about Rs 29 a litre while diesel costed a mere Rs 18 a litre. 
     
    Even if we take the increased costs now and some reasonable increase in duty into account, the retail price of petrol and diesel should have been much lower. 
     
    While the government has kept the customers away from enjoying the real benefits of lower fuel prices, it has kept its tax collections strong. The Centre collected over Rs 2,14,000 crore from excise duty on oil sector in 2018-19 and has already collected over Rs 1,50,000 crore in the nine-month period of the current fiscal. 
     
    The states have seen their VAT and sales tax revenues from the sector consistently increasing since FY 15, standing at over Rs 2 lakh crore in FY19 and Rs 1,50,000 crore in the nine-month period of FY20.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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