Amendments Proposed aims to bring transparency in e-commerce platforms

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New Delhi: The Central Government notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, which came into effect from 23rd July 2020. The main purpose of these rules was to prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce, and since its implementation, Govt. of India has received many grievances regarding the widespread of unfair trade practices.

A negative impact was observed in the market-leading to distress and anguish in many customers. A lagging website may be an issue, which requires urgent action. And the advancements in e-commerce platforms have brought forward the unfair trade practices of the market with a manipulative intention of promoting business into the light.

Conventional flash sales are not banned on e-commerce platforms, but few are there limiting the customer choices by putting back-to-back flash sales, associating with sellers from other platforms since it fails to meet the capacity demand and leads to increasing prices. So, to prevent the exploitation of consumers and encourage free and fair competition in the market with transparency, the Govt of India has issued a draft of the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020.

The proposed amendment by the government says that- 

  • it will ensure effective compliance with the provisions of the Act and Rules and strengthen the grievance redressal mechanism on e-commerce entities. Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and Rules has been appointed a Chief Compliance Officer, a nodal contact person for 24×7 coordination with law enforcement agencies, officers to ensure compliance to their orders and Resident Grievance Officer for redressing the grievances of the consumers on the e-commerce platform.
  •  A registration framework for every e-commerce entity with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for allotment of registration number displayed prominently on the website as well as invoice of every order placed in the e-commerce entity ensures the check of the genuineness of an e-commerce entity before transacting through their platform.
  • The interest of consumers was protected by prohibiting the mis-selling of goods and services, selling beyond expiry dates, and ensuring the domestic manufacturers and suppliers get fair and equal treatment on the e-commerce platform as a filter mechanism to identify goods based on country origin and suggest alternatives to ensure a fair opportunity to domestic goods.
  • Consumers shall not be adversely affected in the event where a seller fails to deliver the goods or services due to negligent conduct by such seller in fulfilling the duties and liabilities