From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : E-commerce regulation in India
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will soon come out with a common acceptable draft e-commerce policy.
- The previous draft in July last year had proposed a regulator, an e-commerce law, periodic audit of companies that store or mirror Indian users’ data overseas.
- The latest draft calls for streamlining of regulatory processes to ease the burden of compliance for activities related to e-commerce and regulations for data that will provide for sharing mechanism.
What are the provisions of the new law?
- According to a revised draft, the government would lay down principles for the usage of data for industrial development, where such norms do not already exist.
- They aim to put in place safeguards to prevent misuse and access of data by unauthorized persons.
- Such safeguards may include regulating the cross-border flow of data pertaining to Indians and transactions taking place in India and the requirement of adequacy audits to be carried out by Indian firms.
- As per the recent draft policy, violation of safeguards shall be viewed seriously and attract heavy penalties.
- Conformity assessment procedures will be put in place to verify that goods and services sold on e-commerce platforms meet required standards and technical regulations.
- The government shall collect information from e-commerce platforms to aid it in making necessary decisions.
- In order to ensure that e-commerce is not used to defraud customers, registration with an authority identified by the Government shall be mandatory.
- The policy shall bring e-commerce exports on par with non-e-commerce exports by enabling online grant of drawbacks, advance authorization and GST refund.
- As per the draft, e-commerce operators must ensure to bring out clear and transparent policies on discounts, including the basis of discount rates funded by platforms.
- Such a move aims to ensure fair and equal treatment.
- It said consumers have a right to be made aware of all relevant details about the goods and services offered for sale including country of origin, value addition in India etc.
- In case the seller fails to establish the genuineness of his products within a reasonable time frame, the e-commerce platform shall delist the seller.