The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) along with traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is inviting applications from Indian startups to develop solutions that can help local kirana stores take online orders and ensure last mile contactless delivery, according to a proposal on the Startup India website. This development comes as the central government had initially allowed e-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart to resume normal operations from April 20, only to backtrack on it later, including after pressure by retailers. With this, the DPIIT is looking for solutions including e-commerce solutions, messaging platforms, logistics solutions, digital payment gateways, and app development, among other things, to help kirana stores in taking and delivering online orders. Companies willing to develop these solutions can send their proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 24, and the results would be announced on June 24. Apart from DPIIT, Startup India and CAIT, Invest India, All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF) and Avaana Capital are "lead partners" for the project. It doesn't appear as if participants will receive any financial aid from the government or CAIT for developing these solutions, since the only incentive listed on Startup India's website is "non-fiscal". According to a CAIT press release, this will help in building a “national e-commerce marketplace”, although the Startup India website doesn't talk about any such pan-India platform explicitly. The proposal mentions that for e-commerce solutions, the aim is to “enable digitizing the retailers, wholesalers and all other stakeholders of the Kirana supply chain”.…
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