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India readies itself for new Draft E-commerce Policy

As per media reports, India is all set to monitor the activities of e-commerce companies including details of the sale, import and customs duties, and compliance with other laws in a periodic manner, through a new National E-commerce policy, which is still in a draft stage. Under the draft policy, the following activities need to be mandatorily conducted by all e-commerce companies operating in India:

  • Mandatory registration with an appropriate authority, as designated by the Government
  • Ensure that all sellers on their platform are treated equally, and not use algorithms that end up prioritising certain select sellers
  • Ensure transparent policies on discounts, including the basis of discount rates funded by platforms for different products/suppliers
  • Implications of participation/non-participation in discount schemes, so as to ensure fair and equal treatment
  • Ensure that information collected from their platforms is not used to obtain a market advantage against sellers on their own platform
  • Conducting periodic adequacy audits
  • Country of origin of products on their platforms need to be mandatorily displayed.
  • Creating safeguards for ensuring that products offered by sellers are genuine and that sellers are traceable, on e-commerce companies.
  • Development of adequate measures to prevent the dissemination of pirated content and identify trusted entities on a voluntary basis.