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E-Commerce Policy Is Expected To Be Released Soon: Report

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Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and senior officials from Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Consumer Affairs Ministry reportedly held consultations with representatives of top e-commerce companies and consumer rights bodies on Wednesday. After the meeting, two close sources aware of the matter revealed that the government is expected to come out with the e-commerce rules and policy in the next two week or post the ongoing parliament session.

As per available reports, the e-commerce policy will be aligned with Amendment to Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020 that seeks to address complaints against “unfair trade” practices. Notably, the rules seek to tighten the nozzle on ‘flash sales.

Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Praveen Khandelwal, who attended the meeting, said that Wednesday’s meeting was the final one in the consultation stage after which no more meetings will be held with the industry.

According to him, the issues of traditional retail regarding deep discounting, private labels, third-party involvement and predatory pricing by e-commerce companies are likely to be addressed by the policy.

According to people aware of the development, officials said that there has been a spike in the number of complaints against e-commerce companies, but also acknowledged that overall e-commerce transactions are growing too and hence there is a need for stricter redressal mechanisms.

The E-commerce Policy was first mooted in 2018 and an initial draft of it was released in 2019.

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