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Govt to take ‘balanced’ approach on e-commerce rules: Consumer Affairs Sec

The government will take a “balanced” approach while finalising the amendments proposed to the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules as “wide and varied” comments have been received from stakeholders, a top official said on Tuesday.

To protect the interest of consumers, the government has proposed key amendments to the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules, 2020 which include ban on fraudulent flash sales and misselling.

“We have received a lot of suggestions. We will now have to come out with best formulations from the consumer perspective taking into account the wide and varied diverse views received on the draft rules,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan told reporters.

It would be difficult to give a timeline as many suggestions have come and all of them require deliberations and discussions. But it is certainly work in progress, she said.

“We are going into great detail on each provision of the rules as there are many wide views from both sides. It has to be calibrated and a balanced perspective has to be arrived at. We are in that process,” she added.

Asked about the implementation of e-commerce rules so far, the secretary said e-commerce was a relevant sector last year and continues to be even now. So, there have been concerted efforts by all the e-commerce entities.

“However, there are always emerging areas where one could have done better like rules could be sharpened, strengthened and focused,” she said.

Further, the secretary said her ministry is examining public comments received on draft rules on misleading advertisements.

In June, Chief Commissioner of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) Nidhi Khare made it clear that the ministry “will not regulate” the trade on e-commerce platforms and e-tailers need not be “anxious” about the proposed changes in the rules.

Meanwhile, e-commerce players and legal experts have opined that the government needs to hold wider consultation before framing e-commerce rules as the present format encroaches into the domain of various othe legal frameworks and establishments. Business Standard

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