Deadline for suggestions to draft e-commerce norms postponed to July 21

The government has extended the deadline for submitting suggestions and views on draft e-commerce rules by 15 days till July 21. Earlier, the last date for sending comments on the proposed amendments to Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 was July 6. 

On Saturday, during a meeting with the consumer affairs ministry and the government’s investment promotion arm, Invest India, executives of e-commerce companies had expressed concerns and confusion over the proposed rules and sought extension of deadline. 

“It has now been decided to extend the timeline for receipt of comments and suggestions on the Draft E-Commerce Rules...Views, comments and suggestions on the proposed amendments may be sent by July 21, 2021...,” the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

A Reliance executive agreed that the proposed rules would boost consumer confidence but added that some clauses needed clarification. 

Under the new e-commerce rules, the government has proposed to end the practice of flash sales. E-commerce entities will also have to appoint a chief compliance officer for a proper grievance-redress mechanism. 

It is also proposed that e-commerce entities will not use any information collected through its platform for unfair advantage of its related parties and associated enterprises. The related parties and associated enterprises have also been prohibited from enlisting as sellers for sale to consumers directly. 

Earlier, trade body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which has been vocal in its demand for stricter rules and has alleged violation of various Indian laws by foreign e-commerce firms, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to ensure that no dilution was made in the draft e-commerce rules. 

The CAIT had called the draft rules a much-awaited step “to clean and purify highly-vitiated e-commerce trade in the country”. 

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