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/suggestions on the Draft E-Commerce Rules…Views/ comments/ suggestions on the proposed amendments may be sent by 21st July 2021…,” the consumer affairs ministry said.
The new rules, announced on June 21, are aimed at strengthening protection for consumers, but have caused concern among online retailers, including market leaders Amazon and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart.
During the meeting with government, Amazon.com Inc and Tata Group had warned officials that the new rules would have a major impact on their business models.
Amazon said that COVID-19 has already hit small businesses and the proposed rules will have a huge impact on its sellers. It also said that some clauses are already covered by existing law. Meanwhile, the Tata Group said that the rules will have wide ramifications for the conglomerate, and could restrict sales of its private brands.
Also read: New e-commerce rules will hit businesses: Amazon, Tata Group to govt
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 redressal 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 is made in the draft e-commerce rules.
CAIT had called the draft rules a much awaited step “to clean and purify highly vitiated e-commerce trade in the country”.