ONDC expands service to 500 cities

The government-promoted Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is at present operational in over 500 cities and towns across India, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

ONDC expands service to 500 cities

Wednesday December 20, 2023,

2 min Read

The government-promoted Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC) is at present operational in over 500 cities and towns across India, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

ONDC is an initiative of the Commerce and Industry Ministry to create a facilitative model to help small retailers take advantage of digital commerce.

It is not an application, platform, intermediary or software but a set of specifications designed to foster open, unbundled, and interoperable open networks.

"ONDC is currently operational in more than 500 cities and towns across India," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

All existing laws and regulations of India related to ecommerce are applicable to ONDC and the network participants on the ONDC network.

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Replying to a separate question, he said to safeguard consumers from unfair trade practices in e-commerce, the Department of Consumer Affairs has also notified the Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020, under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

These rules outline the responsibilities of ecommerce entities and specify the liabilities of marketplace and inventory ecommerce entities, including provisions for customer grievance redressal, he said.

Parkash also said that dark patterns involve using design and choice architecture to deceive, coerce, or influence consumers into making choices that are not in their best interest.

Dark patterns encompass a wide range of manipulative practices such as drip pricing, disguised advertisement, bait and switch, and false urgency.

"Such practices fall under the category of unfair trade practices as defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019," he added.