“Earlier, BIS had 14 different division councils, however none for the services sector. Now, the 15th council has been set up for the services sector, which includes ecommerce as well,” he informed.
The other sectors included under the services head comprise communication services, environmental services, educational services, retail services, medical value travel, tourism and hospitality services, transport and logistics services etc.
“In fact, there are no definite standards exclusively for ecommerce in other countries as well, beyond the technical aspect of the sector,” he claimed.
However, since ecommerce transcends national boundaries and impinges on the satisfaction quotient of a consumer, it was felt that the sector should now have a set of standards and benchmarks to protect consumer interest and ensure quality of services, he said.
Chowdhury said a committee would be formed comprising all the stakeholders, including experts, industry, academia, R&D, regulators, consumers etc to hold consultations and study the benchmarks being adhered to globally before arriving at a conclusion and submitting the final report to the government.
BIS, the federal standards entity, functions under the union ministry of consumer affairs and food and public distribution. It was established under the BIS Act, 1986, which came into effect in December 1986. So far, BIS had been focussing on the manufacturing sector only.
However, with the growth of ecommerce, there have been deluge of complaints as well from Indian consumers about misspelling or even frauds pertaining to delivery of goods or refunds.
Meanwhile, the BIS organised its 11th Standards Conclave in Lucknow in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). At the proceedings, BIS panelists expressed concern over instances of substandard certifications being offered by some institutions to gullible industries, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
BIS is also mapping the traditional industries taken up under the Yogi Adityanath government’s flagship One District, One Product (ODOP) scheme. It would conduct a detailed study across the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh and submit a report to the government.