Proposed e-commerce regulations could negatively impact consumer interest: IAMAI

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has said that the proposed e-commerce regulations could negatively impact consumer interest, while creating a high level of uncertainty and increase compliance burden for not just e-commerce companies but MSMEs providing services to online retailers. The draft e-commerce rules released by the government on June 21 proposes to ban fraudulent flash sales and mis-selling of goods and services on e-commerce platforms.

The association said that a uniform application of these Amendments/Rules across all e-commerce models would not be feasible, is far from ideal, would impact businesses as well as consumers, and will create a high level of uncertainty in an industry that is still in its growth stages and would benefit from light handed regulation. It noted that the amendments fail to provide a level-playing field between online and offline e-commerce/retail. Under the amendments, e-commerce platforms will face several restrictions and increased compliance burden.

However, the industry body said same will not be applicable on the brick-and-mortar stores. It also pointed out that implementation of the amendments in its current form will significantly increase the compliance burden on MSMEs as well as for start-ups who are not even in the e-commerce business, but provide services to e-commerce.