Ecommerce policy coming soon; traders seek separate marketplace portal


The new ecommerce policy, drafted by industry stakeholders, will promote domestic ecommerce as much as possible, says the government. 

The Centre will be releasing the much-awaited ecommerce policy soon, according to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, even as the association of small traders have sought an exclusive marketplace portal for themselves.

The statement by the minister comes after the department had released the draft policy in August this year, but certain objections were raised by several stakeholders in the industry, according to media reports.

According to the minister, “We have prepared a draft policy. We want to promote domestic ecommerce as much as possible. It should benefit both companies and consumers.”

The policy, which was initially drafted by the industry stakeholders, was awaiting clearance from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The earlier draft had serious reservations from the industry players following which the minister had directed officials to conduct another round of consultation with stakeholders to address some of the issues.

The government had come out with its guidelines for foreign direct investment (FDI) for the sector in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu to launch an ecommerce marketplace portal in partnership with trade associations where small traders, artisans and women entrepreneurs can sell their products in a fair and transparent manner.

In a letter to the minister, CAIT sought the formation of a regulatory authority to monitor the ecommerce business, which, it alleged, is highly vitiated and has been gripped by a few big online companies indulging in predatory pricing, deep discounting and loss funding against India’s foreign direct investment guidelines, according to media reports.

The Indian ecommerce market is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion as of 2017. The online retail sales in India is expected to grow by 31 percent to touch $32.70 billion in 2018 led by Flipkart, Amazon India and Paytm Mall.



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