The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) today complimented Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswaan and the Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal for working in tandem and bringing out a fair, robust and foresighted Policy notification in the form of the New Consumer Protection ( E-commerce) Rules, 2020 which is likely to make the entire E-commerce ecosystem in India much more transparent and equal for all stakeholders and most importantly protect the rights and interests of the consumers of India.
Explaining in detail the various important provisions of the new rules, CAIT Secretary General Mr Praveen Khandelwal said that for the last few years the CAIT has been demanding from the Government to bring in measures to control the free unchecked run of the ecommerce players who have completely neglected the rights of the consumers and carried out business in the most arbitrary manner with scant regard for Indian Laws.
According to the new rules, the e-commerce players will have to display the total price of goods and services offered for sale along with a break-up of other charges. They are also required to mention the expiry date of goods offered for sale.
The most recent demand of CAIT with respect to the country of origin of goods and services that are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage has also been addressed.
As per the rules, E-commerce players will have to display details about return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, and any other information. They are also not allowed to manipulate the price of the goods and services offered on their platforms to gain unreasonable profit and discriminate between consumers of the same class.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia further added that on most e-commerce platforms inventory is being controlled by the platform itself and they have listed fake or proxy sellers to sell the inventory and now as per the new rules, the e-commerce entities are required to display prominently to its users full details about the sellers offering goods and services, including the name of their business, whether registered or not and must also display seller geographic address, customer care number, and any rating or other aggregated feedback. This is a landmark provision which will bring about a level playing field in the Ecommerce space as preferential sellers will be impacted. The violation of the rules will attract penal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
Both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that while the Consumer Protection Act has significantly addressed the concerns of the consumers, the traders are hopeful that the much awaited E-commerce Policy of the Government which is expected soon, shall address the concerns of the millions of Indian traders who are severely impacted due to unfair and unethical practice of predatory pricing and deep discounting which is rampant on these platforms and is destroying the entire retail market of the country. They further added that large multinationals are bringing in FDI to fund the losses on account of festive discounts. Such practices are detrimental for the nation and the Government must bring in regulations to put an end to such practice so that the retail trade in India both offline and online can co-exist.