Govt moves to set up open e-commerce platform

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2020

Will provide easy access, reach to small traders, producers and consumers

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is moving to set up an e-commerce platform to provide easy access to all, including small traders and producers. To this end, it has set up a steering committee for formulation, implementation and policy oversight of Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

“It will be a neutral e-commerce platform which may provide equal opportunities to all and provide easy access to e-commerce not only to traders but also consumers.

This step of the government was much awaited in the wake of a large number of complaints of malpractices by existing e-commerce companies,” explained Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), who is part of the steering committee.

Earlier this year, the work of carrying out a pilot on the ONDC was given to the Quality Council of India.

The steering committee, according to a DPIIT order of Tuesday, will initially build consensus and, once the project gets underway, ensure that it continues to meet the set vision, goals, and objectives.

More to be done

“The government, it seems, is testing the water to see what kind of an open platform is required and feasible to increase accessibility and reach of e-commerce. It is just the initial stage and a lot of work will need to be done before the idea can be given a concrete shape,” a Delhi-based researcher told BusinessLine.

Khandelwal said that such a platform will give consumers the right to choose better products at reasonable prices and with efficient and responsible delivery system.

The committee is headed by a senior DPIIT official and includes representatives from the Department of Commerce, the Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Ministry of MSME and the NITI Aayog. Quality Council of India Chairman Chairman Adil Zainulbhai, NPCI Technology CEO Dilip Asbe and NSDL Technolgoy CEO Suresh Seth are also part of the committee and will provide domain expertise. Apart from CAIT, a representative of the Retailers Association of India will also be part of the committee to give industry inputs.

Published on November 25, 2020

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