Platforms can only act as a service provider, not be part of the trade, warns Goyal
The Center plans to clarify the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for the e-commerce sector following investigations into the operations of some foreign players following complaints of embezzlement, according to the Minister of Commerce and Industry. ‘Piyush Goyal Industry.
The government had requested information from online markets as part of an investigation into “certain complaints from consumers and small retailers regarding certain practices of e-commerce companies,” Goyal said on Tuesday. Stressing that e-commerce platforms could only act as a service provider, the minister warned actors “who break the law” that they should correct their business practices as soon as possible.
“We are also considering some clarifications to ensure that the e-commerce sector operates in the true spirit of the law, the rules that have been established,” he said, adding the caveat that the e-commerce policy in itself would not be changed, however, as it was “robust, well designed and functioning in India in several sectors”.
“To reiterate, e-commerce is supposed to provide an agnostic platform for buyers and sellers to trade with each other, the platform should not become part of the business transaction, nor should it no longer fund it or have algorithms that give preference to one or the other… They should not be promoting their own products, but providing all the data necessary to make a rational choice and the choice should be free consumer choice, ”Goyal explained.
“We believe that buyers and sellers should have the ability to trade with each other; the platform is only a service provider, ”said the minister. “And those who break this law will certainly have to address our concerns and correct their business practices as soon as possible,” he added.