Ecommerce News

Government working to bring in e-commerce policy, rules under consumer protection act on same page, ET Retail

The government is working on a proposal to bring out the policy for online retailers and e-commerce rules under the consumer protection act on the same page to protect consumers, a top official said on Thursday. Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Rajesh Kumar Singh said that once the e-commerce policy will be finalised, it will be put up in the public domain for views.

“We are holding discussions to harmonise e-commerce policy and e-commerce rules under the consumer protection act…While doing so, we will try to ensure that whether a regulator or some other way…rules that will ensure that the customer is the king,” Singh told reporters here.

He added that the talks are at an advanced stage.

“So the e-commerce policy and e-commerce rules under the consumer protection act both will be brought on the same page…Kind of congruent with each other. That is the idea and we are working on that,” he said.

Talking about the government-promoted Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), the secretary said that it would help democratise the e-commerce sector in the country.

He said that “no funding and no tailor-made policies” would be there specifically to promote the network.

He said this while replying to a question whether there is any plan to extend incentives like UPI to ONDC.

“We want all e-commerce players to be part of this network,” Singh said.

ONDC CEO T Koshy said that an online system is there for grievance redressal.

So far, there are 46 network participants on the ONDC and the number is expected to at least double this year, Koshy said adding there are 17 cities where 100 merchants are on-boarded the network and about 5-6 cities, where over 1,000 have joined.

Out of 46, seven are logistics partners and 12 are from selling side. A total of over 36,000 merchants have joined the network and at present over 35,000 transactions are happening on a daily basis, which is expected to go up to one lakh by the end of 2023.

By the end of this year, over 75, 000 merchants are likely to on board.

Koshy said that ONDC provides hand-holding support to the network participants to build a threshold like provide trained manpower to get merchants on boarded.

ONDC is a network enabler and not a platform, and therefore it has systematically worked towards adding more network participants, merchants, cities and transactions (orders per day) to the network.

It has also added mobility in Kochi, in January and in Bengaluru in April, which has seen a jump to over 35,000 rides a day from these two cities. At the same time, other domains like fashion, beauty and personal care, electronics and appliances were added since January this year, and are gradually expanding.

Most of these orders have been intercity, with major logistics providers like ShipRocket, Delhivery, Loadshare being live as part of the network.

New network participants on the buyer side include PhonePe’sPincode and Airpay, while leading enterprises such as HUL and ITC, as well as promising startups, have gone live on the seller side. Incorporated on December 31, 2021, ONDC is a Section 8 company.

It is an initiative of the DPIIT to create a facilitative model to help small retailers take advantage of digital commerce. It is not an application, platform, intermediary, or software but a set ofspecifications designed to foster open, unbundled, and interoperable open networks.

  • Published On May 12, 2023 at 08:29 AM IST

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