The consumer affairs ministry has extended the deadline to submit feedback on ecommerce guidelines to October 31 from September 16. This follows several requests from stakeholders asking for more time to make the submission, which would impact businesses across the ecommerce chain.
The department of consumer affairs (DCA) had released the draft ecommerce guidelines for consumers on August 2. The draft was open for stakeholders to raise queries and give suggestions within 45 days.
The New Ecommerce Guidelines
The new guidelines are supposed to come under the Consumer Protection Act which was passed in the parliament earlier this year. Once included, it will be mandatory to follow these guidelines. So, the government had decided to take feedback from the stakeholders, which also included state governments.
The guidelines aim to prevent fraud, unfair trade practices and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers. Under the guidelines, the ministry also wants to enforce ecommerce platform to make details of the sellers available. These details include legal name, address, website, email address and other contact details.
The new guidelines have also restricted ecommerce entities authority to influence the price of the products on its platform. With the rise in the sale of counterfeit products on ecommerce platforms, the guidelines have recommended more stringent action in such cases.
The Consumer Protection Act 2019
The Consumer Protection Act 2019 was a replacement to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It was introduced to address the new vulnerabilities arising out of new forms of platforms, unfair trade and unethical business practices.
The new law seeks to empower consumers by establishing a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and simplify the dispute resolution process with product liability. The act has also introduced strict punishment to check misleading ads and adulteration.