Proposed Amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020
What are the new regulations?
The Centre put out proposals to tighten e-com regulations for consumer protection.
To protect the interests of consumers, mis-selling has been prohibited i.e selling goods and services entities selling goods or services by deliberate misrepresentation of information by such entities about such goods or services.
E-com firms must appoint resident officers to address grievances and monitor rule-compliance, and then be ready to share information sought by authorities within 72 hours.
For the sake of “free and fair competition”, they must label all wares on their websites by country-of-origin, offer local alternatives, keep search results unbiased, not sell anything to anyone registered as a ‘seller’ with them, not conduct deep-discount flash sales of cherry-picked products.
Restriction on aiding associated enterprises with any helpful data gleaned by their algorithms.
As another measure to assure small enterprises an even field, they must also ensure that their logistical systems support all sellers in the same category equally.
As it happens, this attempt to straitjacket e-com platforms coincides with an antitrust probe of ‘unfair practices’ ascribed to Amazon and Flipkart.
Putting in place a framework for registration of every e-commerce entity with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for allotment of registration number. Registration of e-commerce entities would help create a database of genuine e-commerce entities