The new E-Commerce rules are drafted keeping the benefit of Consumers, e-Commerce companies in considerations. PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Organized a webinar on All Stakeholders' Interactive Session on the proposed New E-commerce Rules. Prof Bejon Kumar Misra, Chairman- Consumer Affairs, PHDCCI; Mr. Divyanshu Tambe, Executive Director, EY; Mr. Harshavardhan Chauhaan, VP, Marketing & Omnichannel - Spencer’s Retail & Nature’s Basket; Ms. Meghna Sankhla, Senior Partner, Sankhla & Associates, Civil, Corporate & Consumer Lawyer; Mr. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, Confederation of All India Traders; Dr. H P Kumar, Former CMD, NSIC & Advisor MSME, PHD Chamber, Mr. Saurabh Bansal, Co-Chair, Retail Committee, PHDCCI & Joint Managing Director, Dorset Group and: Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI were the eminent panelists.
Prof Bejon Kumar Misra in his opening remarks said that rules are drafted by the government to help small businesses to grow, delight consumers, and abolish unethical practices in the e-commerce business. The purpose of the draft policy is to prevent unfair trade practices in e-commerce.
Mr. Divyanshu Tambe deliberated that e-commerce has provided a lot of convenience to the consumer and grown phenomenally. There the 12 points in the new policy, the two important points in policy are fall back liability and manipulation on search results to promote certain sellers, preferential treatment to some sellers, indirectly operating the sellers on their platform, impinging the free choice of consumers, selling goods close to expiration, etc. the draft rules are good but the enforcement seems tough. Huge data and confirmations are required to find out the implication of compliance. The policies should be more defined and well organized.
Mr. Harshvardhan in his deliberation said that to protect the interests of consumers and encourage free and fair competition the laws have been drafted. The laws have been drafted for the benefit of all consumers and the E-Commerce sector. He further described the 12 key points under the newly drafted rules ie. Flash sales, not conventional sales, displays of promotion, country of origin, Cancellation charges and fall back liabilities, etc. Equal opportunities should be given to all sellers keeping consumer interests on priority.
Ms. Meghna in her address said that that the new draft policy made consumers’ life easy as now they are encouraged to go to the local redressal body for any disputes. Consumer welfare fund belongs to the consumers so it should be used to solve their issues. There should be loophole management while redressing the consumers' issues so that it directly gets resolved.
Mr. Praveen Khandelwal in his address deliberated that rules are required to set the standards of ethical practices at all levels. He thanks Government for bringing the draft rules under the Consumer Protection Act, pending for long period. such measures are needed for creating a level playing field he added. He further said that CAIT is not against the rule but against unethical practices and preferential selling. The rules will bring the standard practices and set a benchmark for global e-commerce business practices.
Dr. HP Kumar in his address said the consumer interest is prime and supreme. The rules should be such that they should not affect MSMEs. The big companies may not get affected but small retailers and unorganized companies are still struggling to come under e-commerce eco-systems.
Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Assistant Secretary-General attended the panel discussion. PHDCCI’s session was sponsored by Consumer Online Foundation and supported by DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals; UFLEX; JK Tyre & Industries; Marble City; Paramount Cables; SMC Investments and Advisors; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; Comtech Interio; DCM Shriram Industries; Radico Khaitan; Ajit Industries; Synergy Environics; Timberworkz; P S Bedi & Co; and IFFCO.