April 05 2020
Traders welcome newe-commerce rules
28 December 2018

CAIT demands retrospective effect

A day after the government issued a clarification, tightening the norms for e-commerce players, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) welcomed the decision and demanded that the rules be implemented with retrospective effect from April 1, 2018 so as to void the Walmart acquisition of Flipkart.

The government on Wednesday barred online retailers from selling products of companies in which they own a stake. They also barred online retailers from selling goods exclusively on their platforms. These rules are to come into effect from February 1, 2019.

“It was under immense pressure that the government decided to frame new rules,” Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT, told the media. “It was a tough, year-long struggle for traders. We met Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and key government officials to convince them of the need to ensure a level-playing field.

“Both online and offline traders in the country will now be able to sell their goods on e-commerce platforms in a transparent manner,” Mr. Khandelwal added. “Some multinational companies, which recently struck deals, should also be included in it and it [new norms] should be implemented from April 1, 2018.”

A senior official in the Commerce Ministry, however, said February 1, 2019 was set so as to give companies time to comply with the rules. As such, implementing them with a retrospective effect would not be possible.

Empowered regulator

Mr. Khandelwal also called for the creation of an empowered regulator for the e-commerce sector.

“The decision to create a regulator is still being deliberated upon and if it is to be created, it will be done through the new e-commerce policy that we are drafting and which should be ready in a few weeks,” the official said.

The official also categorically said that the clarification issued on Wednesday was not intended to target any specific company and that they were aimed at “promoting fair and non-discriminatory trade.”



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