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Government departments: E-commerce rules to hit investor sentiment


NEW DELHI: Several government departments have raised concerns about proposed consumer protection rules for e-commerce companies, arguing that they will affect the ease of doing business and overall investment sentiment.
While some of the agencies have shared their comments with the consumer affairs department, which is piloting the initiative, officials said the proposal creates multiple challenges for e-commerce players, starting with Raj license.
“The moment you ask someone to register, which is what has been suggested, you ask them to queue up and start a bureaucratic process,” a senior government official told TOI. According to the proposed rules issued for discussion, each e-commerce participant must register with the department of promotion of industry and internal trade.
The opinion of various departments is that investments are needed to help the economy recover from the devastating impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some government officials said that nothing should be done to derail the investment atmosphere and that every effort should be made to take advantage of the series of reform measures the government has introduced to attract investment.
The draft of the rules, released for public comment, has already sparked a backlash from the industry, especially from foreign investors, who distrust government regulations and complain about periodic rule changes. Some see the rules as a consequence of intense lobbying by the powerful merchant lobby, as well as some of the local businesses that have dabbled in e-commerce.
Government officials also said that the ministry of consumer affairsThe proposals of Competition Commission of Indiaterritory and something that is best avoided, since an independent agency was created under a statute to deal with measures to control monopoly behavior.

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