The government has decided to make the draft e-commerce guidelines mandatory under the new Consumer Protection Act,2019.
The E commerce guidelines will be applicable on all business to consumer(B2C) e-commerce platforms.
The guidelines seeks to protect personally-identifiable information of customers and set a 14-day limit for payments toward refund requests.
The Consumer Act also sets up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights.It would have the power to take action against violating firms.
The E commerce platforms are also required to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery and mode of payments.
The guidelines also proposes to make it mandatory for e-commerce entities to accept returns in the event the products delivered are defective, wrong or spurious or if they do not have the characteristics or features advertised.
Further,every e-commerce entity has to publish the contact details of its grievance officer who would have to address complaints within one month from the date of receipt.
The e-commerce sector in India has been witnessing an explosive growth fuelled by an increase in the number of online users,growing penetration of smartphones and the rising popularity of social media platforms.
According to a Morgan Stanley report,India is adding one internet user every three seconds and the e-commerce sector in India is estimated to reach $230 billion by 2028, accounting for 10% of India’s retail market.