23:15 GMT06 March 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): As India remains under a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, all trade and industrial activities have also come to a grinding halt, causing huge economic losses. Just as the country was expecting to come out of the lockdown, Prime Minister Modi announced an extension by another 19 days on Tuesday.

    Gurugram-based online food delivery platform Zomato and e-grocer Grofers on Tuesday denied all rumours around their “merger”. For some days media outlets had been speculating that Zomato was planning to acquire Grofers for nearly $750 million.

    “The news on the merger is a pure speculation and completely untrue", media reports quoted a Grofers’ spokesperson on Tuesday as saying.

    The rumour began circulating when Zomato partnered with Grofers to facilitate home deliveries of essential goods to the doorsteps of isolated citizens. The online grocery ordering platform witnessed a huge spike in orders, leading to a significant failure in services.

    Netizens also vented their concern about deliveries of orders with these e-grocery stores. Several e-delivery service platforms like Grofers have already joined forces with food delivery companies to manage deliveries.

    Grofers’ official also stated that financially - the company which claims to be India’s largest e-grocery store – was doing great and expanding rapidly.

    Currently, the net worth of Grofers is around $650 million and the worth of Zomato is nearly $3.2 billion.

    Earlier in January, Zomato which claims to have over 80 million monthly active users in 10,000 Indian cities and towns, acquired the online food ordering business of US-based Uber in an all-stock transaction in India deal.

    While announcing a nationwide lockdown on 24 March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi admitted that there will be “unimaginable economic costs to the lockdown but the immediate priority is to save lives from COVID-19”.

    Industries have demanded a slew of measures including financial packages worth around $400 billion to minimise short-term losses due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

    The United Nations has also estimated that around 400 million workers in India will slip into poverty due to the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to rage, with over 10,000 cases as of Tuesday, while 339 people lost their lives to the infection, according to the federal Health Ministry.  

    Uber, COVID-19, lockdown, Economy, Grocery, delivery, online, Food, India, New Delhi
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