In a bid to systematise the onboarding of retailers on ecommerce platforms, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is reportedly planning to build an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to set protocols for cataloguing, vendor discovery and price discovery.
A committee of 11 members has been set up from various ministries and industry representatives and a pilot project will kick-off next month.
The minister of state for commerce Som Parkash had said the Centre is committed to provide equal opportunities to all to make optimum use of the ecommerce ecosystem in the larger interest of the country and its people.
“Since each marketplace has its own protocols for various activities involved in online retail, we will set protocols and standards to onboard retailers on online marketplaces and the entire process of supply to delivery,” an official aware of the development told ET.
The onboarding on retailers will be transparent and this is done to form protocols for digital ecommerce such as cataloguing, vendor discovery and price discovery.
“This is a new initiative. The protocol for digital commerce would be similar to what UPI is for online payments and https protocol is for secure communication over the internet,” another official told the publication.
The DPIIT has recently sought comments from ministries and government agencies to make a consensus on the regulation of ecommerce in the country.
DPIIT held a meeting with the Ministries of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Information Technology (MeitY), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and India Post to discuss its draft regulation.
In 2019, DPIIT had released a draft ecommerce policy, proposing data localisation and streamlining of the operations of ecommerce companies in line with FDA rules and regulations in the country. At that time, several ecommerce companies such as Flipkart and Amazon raised concerns over the proposed regulatory guidelines by the department.
In October, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash had said that the government would extend support to ecommerce companies as and when ecommerce policy and several other trade policies get finalised.