TO PROTECT consumers’ interest, the Centre has proposed guidelines for e-commerce firms that entail a 14-day deadline to effect refund request, mandate e-tailers to display details of sellers supplying goods and services on their websites and moot the procedure to resolve consumer complaints. The Consumer Affairs Ministry has sought views of stakeholders on the draft guidelines on e-commerce by September 16. Meanwhile, Government is planning to come out with a national e-commerce policy to facilitate achieving holistic growth of the sector. Among key guidelines, the e-commerce companies will also be required to ensure that personally identifiable information of customers are protected.
“Such data collection and storage and use comply with provisions of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008,” the Ministry said. That apart, e-commerce firms should be a registered legal entity under Indian laws and should submit a self-declaration to the ministry stating that it is conforming with guidelines’. The proposed rules outlined that a promoter or key management personnel should not have been convicted of any criminal offence punishable with five years imprisonment.
The companies should also comply with the provisions of IT Rules, 2011. They are also required to display on their websites details about sellers supplying goods and services. The industry said it is still studying the broad contours of the guidelines. “We are evaluating the draft guidelines and look forward to participating in the deliberations to help finalise an operating framework,” a Snapdeal spokesperson said in a statement.