e-commerce platform Current Affairs - 2019

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Bharatcraft portal:  Government to launch e-commerce marketing platform

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is planning to launch Bharatcraft portal, a desi version e-commerce marketing platform. It will be based on the lines of e-commerce behemoths such as Alibaba and Amazon. It will provide platform for MSMEs to market and sell their products and in turn boost the overall sector. It has potential to achieve revenues of around Rs 10 lakh crore in the 2-3 years.

Need for portal

MSME sector currently contributes nearly 29% to the manufacturing segment and 40% to the exports. It has potential to generate additional employment of 5 crore in the next five years. Union Government has set target to increase contribution of MSMEs in the manufacturing sector to 50% in the next five years.

Govt releases Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019

Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Consumer Affairs) has published draft e-Commerce Guidelines for consumer protection 2019. These guidelines will be applicable on all business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms.

Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019

  • It aims to make e-commerce platforms and their sellers more transparent and accountable to consumers. It also seeks to curb sale of counterfeit products online and unfair trade practices by e-commerce companies
  • It proposes series of consumer safeguards that forbid e-commerce companies from influencing pricing, adopting unfair promotion methods or misrepresenting the quality of goods and services.
  • It also mandates e-commerce companies to protect personally-identifiable information of customers. In this case, data collection and storage and use should comply with provisions of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.
  • It mandates e-commerce firms to self-declare compliance and also provide way for customers to contact them directly.
  • It proposes to make mandatory for e-commerce entities to accept returns in event products delivered are defective, wrong or spurious or if they do not have characteristics or features advertised.
  • It also mandates every e-commerce entity has to publish contact details of its grievance officer, who would have to address complaints within one month from the date of receipt.
  • It makes mandatory for e-commerce platforms to declare all details about their sellers including address, website and email address.
  • It also mandates them to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery and mode of payments.