Kunal Bahl-led committee will have “upcoming e-commerce policy, the consumer protection rules and a consistent interpretation of the intermediary status of e-commerce platforms” on its immediate agenda.
E-commerce company Snapdeal’s co-founder Kunal Bahl has taken over as the chairman of CII’s e-commerce committee for the financial year 2020-21, the industry body announced on Monday. Moreover, Urban Company’s (earlier UrbanClap) co-founder Abhiraj Bhal is the co-chair of the committee that will have “upcoming e-commerce policy, the consumer protection rules and a consistent interpretation of the intermediary status of e-commerce platforms” on its immediate agenda. It would also look at addressing policy issues to boost exports through e-commerce marketplaces as it has been one of the key focus areas of soon-to-be-launched e-commerce policy. Moreover, measures to protect gig workers, who have been impacted by the business disruption, were stressed as a key priority in the current year, CII said.
“While as a nation we are living through unprecedented times, it is precisely in times like this that we need to come together and work for the larger good,” Bahl said adding that digitalization has started to blur the distinction between customers liking online channel vis-à-vis those preferring physical channel for transactions. CII said that representatives from technology companies including Amazon, Reliance Jio, Snapdeal, eBay, Nykaa, Swiggy, Uber, Shuttl, The Urban Company, Udaan, Paypal, Pepperfry, and consulting firm PwC along with law firms including AZB Partners, and L&L Partner Law Offices apart from CII are part of the e-commerce committee.
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E-commerce marketplaces were again in the spotlight recently for selling Chinese goods online amid anti-China sentiments in the country. The DPIIT has even asked Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm Mall, ShopClues and others to provide information on country of origin of products sold on their platforms and set a tentative deadline of August 1 for new listings and September-end for existing listings. On the other hand, in the latest e-commerce draft being prepared by DPIIT, the government has eased norms for local data storage. The draft policy has suggested a periodic audit of the storage locations of companies like Amazon, Flipkart and those that have saved data of Indian customers abroad, a source had told Financial Express. The government had launched first draft of the e-commerce policy in February last year.