Online sellers at ecommerce firms such as Flipkart, Amazon India, and Snapdeal have urged the government to bring in a regulator for ecommerce.
The All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) – a community of around 2,000 online sellers – has drafted a petition wherein it has alleged that ecommerce firms including Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal have been violating existing marketplace rules of government. The petition thus demands that steps need to be taken to protect both sellers and buyers in the times to come.
“Even today, the marketplaces are openly violating these rules and there is no enforcement from the government. We require special tribunals to take up sellers’ issues the way consumer courts, electricity tribunals, debt recovery tribunals and others have been set up,” as stated in the petition, per an ET report.
The AIOVA has also demanded a grievance cell for sellers, along with a competitive market, prevention of monopoly and cartelisation. Also, the ecommerce sellers have demanded the creation of accounting and auditing standards and disclosure norms to prevent scams.
Reportedly, the association will submit the petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
An email sent to the concerned firms did not elicit any response till the time of publication.
The AIOVA has actively raised its voice for online sellers’ interests against ecommerce marketplaces in the last few months. Recently, in March 2017, AIOVA reached out to the Competition Commission of India with complaints against WS Retail (Flipkart) and Cloudtail (Amazon). The complaint alleged that both the ecommerce giants are using ‘predatory pricing’ and discounting while selling products via their private label products.
Prior to this, after news of the Snapdeal layoffs was announced in February 2017, the AIOVA had written to the Ministry that Snapdeal holds about INR 200 Cr-INR 300 Cr, on any given month, in the form of outstanding dues and goods in transit or refunds. Also, a group of online sellers reportedly asked the Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State, Commerce & Industry (I/C) to intervene in the matter.
Later, she also made a commitment to look into the matter and inquire into the online sellers complaints of default payments by ecommerce firm Snapdeal.
The development was earlier reported by ET.