Traders slam NITI Aayog over divergent view on draft e-com policy

The consumer affairs ministry will take into account the inputs and feedback from key stakeholders, including central and state government departments, industry, and the public, before finalising amendments in rules governing the e-commerce sector, an official close to the development said on Sunday. “We will seriously consider the inputs,’’ the official said when asked about the NITI Aayog stand on the draft policy. Traders have called the government’s public policy think tank a spokesperson for international e-commerce firms after NITI Aayog opposed some of the .....
The consumer affairs ministry will take into account the inputs and feedback from key stakeholders, including central and state government departments, industry, and the public, before finalising amendments in rules governing the e-commerce sector, an official close to the development said on Sunday. “We will seriously consider the inputs,’’ the official said when asked about the NITI Aayog stand on the draft policy.

Traders have called the government’s public policy think tank a spokesperson for international e-commerce firms after NITI Aayog opposed some of the e-commerce policy rules saying they were beyond the realm of the consumer affairs ministry, which drafted the proposed policy.

NITI Aayog raised concerns regarding the fallback liability clause that puts the onus on marketplace platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart, instead of sellers.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday said, “The uncalled for assertions made by Niti Aayog on draft e-commerce rules under Consumer Protection Act are contrary to the objectives for which Niti Aayog has been constituted. From the perspective of eight crore traders, it is a non-entity body since it has not come out with even a single concept or plan note about upgradation or digitisation of the trading community and what to say of rolling out a plan policy for traders,” an official statement from CAIT said. 

ALSO READ: CAIT slams Niti Aayog for interfering in e-commerce rules

CAIT has mostly been supportive of government policies including the e-commerce rules. NITI Aayog, which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has however come under harsh criticism by the trader body. Recently at an industry event, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal had hit out at businesses including the Tata group for opposing some of the e-commerce draft policy rules.

The finance ministry also highlighted some of the proposed e-commerce rules as not being investor-friendly, an official pointed out. E-commerce firms, and industry associations had earlier requested the government to rework the draft e-commerce rules. 

A senior government official told Business Standard that the larger idea of the consultation process is to get a broad set of views from diverse stakeholders, which is a crucial part of the ongoing process. “Many issues have been thrown up by an array of stakeholders. Each of them deserves to be considered seriously. Every view is being taken into consideration,” the official said.

In June, the consumer affairs ministry had proposed a slew of amendments under the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, to ‘’protect the interests of consumers and encourage fair competition’’ in the market and had sought comments from relevant stakeholders.
Points of contention
  • E-commerce companies have raised concerns over a clause that says they will have to ensure none of their associated enterprises is listed as seller
  • Others concerns include a ‘fallback liability’ clause and revised definition of an e-commerce entity
  • Industry fear change in business model, if these draft rules are implemented
  • Small businesses fear increase in compliance burden
  • There’s also demand for clarity on ‘flash sales’ definition


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel
Key stories on business-standard.com are available to premium subscribers only.

Already a premium subscriber?

Subscribe to get an across device (Website, Mobile Web, Iphone, Ipad, and Android Phone applications) access to Premium content, Breaking News alerts, Industry Newsletters, Stock and Corporate news alerts, access to Archives and a lot more.

Read More on

E-COMMERCE POLICY

ECOMMERCE

NITI AAYOG

ECONOMY & POLICY

NEWS


Most Read

Markets

Companies

Opinion

Latest News

Todays Paper

News you can use