Leaked draft of Indian E-Commerce Policy in 2 minutes – Industry’s opinion

Leaked draft of Indian E-Commerce Policy in 2 minutes - Industry's opinion
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It has been close to two weeks ever since the leaked draft e-commerce policy ignited havoc in the e-commerce sector of India, especially for the leading ones like Amazon, Flipkart and many alike.

One of the major problems that the government E-commerce policy wants to fix in the e-commerce sector is deep discounting practised by the large e-commerce entities that keep small offline and online merchants concerned.

As a part of the policy, the government will also overlook the problem of fake products being sold online. Another key aspect would be data storage as the policy suggests, all data should be stored in India only.

The government has also appointed a group of secretaries to work on the e-commerce policy. These secretaries will be sent to various government departments for accumulating feedback.

As published across multiple media platforms, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has also been conducting discussions to finalise the policy.

Potential general implications of the E-Commerce Policy:

Based on the coverage by various media houses in India, the draft e-commerce policy leaked to the press outlines many implications including:

  • All e-commerce operators will need to register with the government of India. And the measurement of the e-commerce entities will be carried by the concerned agencies.
  • E-commerce entities will need to ensure that their algorithms are not biased hence not prioritising any vendors. And should implement transparent policies on discounts.
  • For the protection of the consumers, the government will lay strong directives for e-commerce players – ensuring sellers’ products are genuine, and e-commerce players will co-own in the liability for counterfeits in case of end-to-end fulfilment.
  • The new policy also plans to empower the government to periodically notify which sellers fall under the definition of associates and related parties, and stipulates that actions and things that cannot be done by the platform entities can neither be done by any of its associates and related parties.
  • E-commerce players cannot directly or indirectly influence the price of the goods or services and must maintain a level playing field. They also cannot falsely represent themselves as consumers or post reviews on their behalf.
  • India’s e-commerce foreign-direct-investment (FDI) rules don’t allow online marketplaces to hold an inventory of their own or influence the price of products sold. They also prohibit group companies or entities in which marketplaces have control of inventory to sell on their platforms, among other things.
  • The government will also build a strong ground to promote e-commerce by providing offline sellers with an opportunity to sell online as well – countering monopolies.
  • The government will also offer expres