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Sri Lanka’s UberEats partners Cargills and other business to distribute goods

ECONOMYNEXT- UberEats Sri Lanka, a food delivery firm said it had partnered with a top retail chain and other businesses to deliver food, after curfews were imposed to curb the spread of Coroanvirus with the approval of the government.

“Our partnership with Cargills Food City and other businesses to deliver essential everyday items via Uber Eats will allow people to stay at home and help authorities reduce the spread of COVID 19,” Bhavna Dadlani, Country Lead, Uber Eats Sri Lanka said in a statement.

“It will also help reduce the burden on authorities in providing essential goods for every citizen. To enhance safety for our community, Uber Eats deliveries can be contactless and users can request orders to be left at their doorstep.

“In these unprecedented times, we are privileged to be able to support authorities and the people of Sri Lanka meet everyday needs.”

Some goods like tinned fish and dhall disappeared and other small businesses suffered working capital losses after Sri Lanka’s Consumer Affairs Authority disrupted food supplies with price controls, analysts say.

A permit system was also set up placing a barrier on new entrants. Direct selling of pharmaceuticals had been made a state monopoly.

As a result of Coronavirus, restaurants, which were the main operative partners of UberEats, closed operations. Most countries have banned restaurants and bars.

UberEats said they have now partnered with a few supermarkets and small independent businesses to cater grocery needs of the public throughout curfew.

Member of parliament Namal Rajapaksa said he helped bring Uber on board.

““I want to thank both Uber and Mobitel for accepting my invitation and stepping up in this time of crisis
to partner with leading Supermarket stores to provide a state of the art delivery service,” Namal Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament said.

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“It will be operational from cities in the Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts.”

UberEats has also provided a detailed guideline (https://www.uber.com/en-LK/newsroom/grocery-delivery-on-uber-eats/) on how customers can order essential groceries through the app.

These purchases can be paid through either card or cash, UberEats said.

The online sales websites of most supermarkets haves messages saying they could not take fresh orders because they were processing old ones. (Colombo/Mar31/2020)

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