The department of consumer affairs has extended the timeline for receiving stakeholder comments on the draft ecommerce policy by a fortnight to July 21, 2021. On June 21, the department had sought comments and suggestions on amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules 2020 to be submitted by July 6.
The rules were notified by the government on July 23, 2020.
The amendments differ from the draft ecommerce policy brought out by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which has been a work in progress since 2019. The current amendments can be notified as a rule with immediate effect, which has led to ecommerce companies stating that it will increase the burden of compliance apart from impacting business during a stakeholder meeting with officials from consumer affairs ministry.
The amendments bar ecommerce entities from conducting flash sales, apart from asking ecommerce platforms to refrain from listing related parties or entities as sellers on the platform, among other clarifications.
Representatives of ecommerce companies had also sought an extension to the deadline, though offline traders’ body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had been opposed to an extension.
Partner at Indus Law Namita Viswanath said that the extension to the timeline was expected. “The proposed amendments were significant and had potentially far-reaching implications,” she said, adding that the extension will give stakeholders an opportunity to deliberate the proposed amendments and share meaningful insights.