E-commerce guidelines will become mandatory once the rules are framed for the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, has said in a meeting of MPs and experts in New Delhi.
The ministry will invite suggestions on the rules by September 15 and the rules will be notified by December, he said. Later, talking to the media, Paswan said all suggestions received within the stipulated time period will be considered within the legal framework while drafting the rules and regulations.
Apart from healthcare, education, banking and electricity are also come under the Act’s purview.
The meeting also discussed the e-commerce at length, reported The Hindu Business Line. According to a document circulated for the meeting, “The (e-commerce) guidelines, which will be converted to Rules, endeavour to take care of the interests of consumers prior to purchase, at the time of purchase, post-purchase and provide for the grievance redressal mechanism.”
Accordingly, the e-commerce entities need to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty/guarantee, delivery/shipment mode of payment and grievance redressal mechanism, it said. As per the circulated draft guidelines, the e-commerce firms have to give a 14-day deadline for refund requests, display details of sellers supplying goods and services on their Websites and moot the procedure to resolve consumer complaints.
According to a Morgan Stanley report, the e-commerce sector in India is estimated to reach USD 230 billion by 2028, accounting for 10% of India’s retail business.