Consumer Online Foundation, not-for-profit organisation under the mentorship of Prof Bejon Kumar Misra, an International Consumer Policy Expert today expressed their deep concern on the extension of deadline to seek comments on draft e-commerce rules in India citing consumer ramifications in the long run. The government extended the deadline for suggestions and feedback on the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, till August 6 as opposed to July 6th. The ministry released the draft e-commerce rules on June 21, prohibiting “fraudulent” flash sales, as well as mis-selling of goods and services on e-commerce platforms. Other amendments of the draft rules include appointing a chief compliance officer or grievance redressal officer.
Commenting on the draft e-commerce deadline extension by the Government, Prof. Bejon Misra, Founder Trustee of Consumer Online Foundation and a renowned Consumer Activist said, “The draft to amend the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules 2020 is a step in the right direction to tighten the legal norms on the e-commerce platforms which were having a field day until recently, but the extension is setback to protect and strengthen the rights of consumers”.
“The demand for extension in time is a delaying tactic by a few e commerce giants. India being a promising mode of future business in India in the e – commerce space, there is a strong need to have organized rules to protect and safeguard the rights of consumers” Misra added.
The Government has proposed substantive changes and making some much-needed additions in the law to control the unfair trade practices that are widely prevalent in the e-commerce ecosystem. The structuring out of the definition of e-entities and introducing the concepts of cross-selling and fall-back liability will eliminate the abounding confusion even as it reduces the scope of frauds. These draft rules should not be seen as shooting in the foot in a bid to tighten the noose on e-commerce players, instead making the law a win-win for the consumers, the traders and the regulators all together.
In the meanwhile, Professor Bejon Misra and his esteemed team have already submitted their recommendations on the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 in the last week of June 2021.