The “related-party provision” has caused anxiety among the country’s major e-commerce businesses, including Amazon India, Flipkart, and Tata Group. According to sources familiar with Saturday’s meetings between government and business leaders, given the industry’s proposed restrictions, which may ban them from selling on their web platforms.
At a conference organized by the department of consumer affairs and Invest India, top executives and industry associations like CII, FICCI, Assocham, and IAMAI expressed their concern over the plan to prohibit an e-commerce site from using its name in its private brand.
They noted that there was widespread agreement that data-related measures should be included exclusively in the forthcoming Personal Data Protection Bill and not in the proposed e-commerce rules. The sector is requesting an extension until the end of July to submit its comments, citing the “exhaustive and complex” character of the proposed e-commerce laws.
Industry groups are set to submit a formal proposal to the government on Monday, requesting additional time for debate, according to the sources.
On June 21, the government published the proposed India e-commerce laws and asked industry members to submit their comments by July 6. According to the proposed guidelines, an e-commerce business is defined as a person or organization engaged in the ‘purpose of order fulfillment.’
Government officials noted “stricter” e-commerce laws in global markets such as Europe, the United States, Singapore, and others during the conference.
No response from Amazon India and Flipkart. An email submitted to the consumer affairs department’s joint secretary received no response. Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) and Paytm spokespeople did not respond to emails addressed to them.
RIL representatives stated during the conference that the policy will increase customer trust in e-commerce, but that more time is required to clarify compliance.