The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) wants an immediate action to be implemented against the various E-commerce platforms having violated the condition of mandatory display of the Country of Origin and Manufacturer alongside seller Details on products sold through their respective E-commerce portals. The above requirement under the Consumers Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Act, 2011 and guidelines of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India, has been violated by e Commerce entities including Amazon, Swiggy, Zomato and Flipkart besides many others.
CAIT has referred to Piyush Goyal, Union Commerce Minister for the above matter.
“It is a case of daylight robbery of e-commerce entities in India and therefore demand immediate action against the erring e-commerce portals and online mechanism providers,” CIAT said.
“It is a pity that particularly in e-commerce every guidelines, Rules & Regulations, Laws and policies are being flouted openly and no department has so far taken any cognizance of compliance issues resulting in a highly vitiated and mess like e-commerce trade of India,” it added further to its discontentment over the concerned matter and urged on taking action against it at the earliest.
Rule 10 under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 mentions that it is a must for the various e-commerce entities to display the name and address of the manufacturer, generic name of the concerned product, name of the country of origin, best before/use by date in cases where its applicable, the dimensions of the product and also the maximum retail price, etc.
The rule was introduced in 2017 and was supposed to be implemented within a time span of 6 months, that is, Jan 1 2018 onwards. Yet even after three years since the implementation of this rule, many entities have failed to comply with the supposed code of conduct, and that it includes prominent names like that of amazon and flipkart.
Therefore, the entities that have allegedly violated the rule are entitled to pay penalty as a result, which can also include fine or/ and imprisonment.
The E-commerce food business lines have also failed to comply with similar guidelines issued on Feb 7, 2017, by the Food Safety and Standards Authority.
The Rule 4(2) of the Consumer Protection (E Commerce) Rules, 2020, is an obligation for the e Commerce entities to provide clear information which shall be accessible to the concerned parties. It includes providing the lCAI name of the e-commerce entity, principal geographic address of its headquarters and the branches, contact details, details of the website, etc. The obligation of appointing a Nodal Officer has also been left unfulfilled. Press Note 2 of the FDI Policy, 2016 states similar guidelines.
The violation of these rules goes completely against the user’s rights, restraining them from receiving complete information about the product and services they are dealing with.