E-commerce needs to step up info revealiation, join hands with government and civil society.

They need to practice fair and transparent information disclosures while giving utmost importance to consumer’s consent, privacy and interest, a new study said Today, while listing out a detailed bunch of voluntary guidelines for all stakeholders involved in this industry.

Suggested guidelines focus on various key issues such as important disclosures about sellers, products, payments and dispute resolution and also advocate greater participation from the government  and the civil society to per sieving online consumers about modulation of the business.

The report, titled ‘Consumer Empowerment: Fortifying Consumer Protection in E-commerce’, is jointly prepared by public policy research and advisory firm, Chase India, and leading consumer protection group, Consumer Voice.

It underlines need for collective efforts between the government, industry and voluntary consumer groups to safeguard consumer rights on e-commerce platforms.

The report assumes significance as Parliament recently passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019, a legislation that aims in the modification of the current legislation on consumer protection to keep up with the changes in markets for ensuring fair, equitable and consistent outcomes for consumers.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has also released a set of guidelines with the objective of ensuring consumer protection in e-commerce.

Chief operating officer of Consumer Voice Ashim Sanyal said, the recent policy interventions made by the government are a welcome step as the Bill and the new guidelines seek to address some of the concerns about this business.

The report is highlighting growing concerns in the e-commerce sector such as information asymmetry, complexity of terms and conditions, unfair commercial practices, data privacy, and payment security, among others.

Chase India’s Group Business Director (Public Policy) Kaushal Mahan said the voluntary guidelines proposed in the report are in sync with the global best practices and the Indian government’s advantage and their adoption would contribute towards consumer empowerment.

According to various estimates, the e-commerce sector in India is projected to cross USD 103 billion by 2020 with an annual growth rate of 41%.Concluded part is , online shoppers in India are expected to reach 220 million in numbers by 2025.

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