Industry groupings seek major changes in draft ecommerce rules

Industry associations, including those that count ecommerce majors Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon India as members, have sought the revision of a host of contentious clauses in India’s draft ecommerce rules including the deletion of those seeking to include related parties and logistics service providers within the definition of an ecommerce entity, ban flash sales and mandate the listing of local alternatives while selling imported goods or services.

In a submission to the department of consumer affairs on Wednesday, USISPF (US-India Strategic Partnership Forum) said that the draft proposals are “problematic and fail to take into consideration that not all marketplaces are alike and may not share similar relationships with buyers and sellers, negating the need for or effectiveness of prescriptive measures”. The submissions by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IndiaTech were also on similar lines.

The USISPF has sought the deletion of clauses to include ‘related parties and service providers for order fulfilment’ as ecommerce entities as well as those banning flash sales, registration requirements with DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) and the fall-back liability on online marketplace – where platforms have to be liable if a customer is unhappy with the products.

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