CUTS International raises concerns regarding proposed amendments in Consumer Protection E-Commerce Rules

Business Line, June 23, 2021

‘The proposed changes could lead to policy uncertainty, impact investment climate’

Consumer organisation and policy think-tank CUTS International on Wednesday said the Centre should withdraw the proposed amendments in the Consumer Protection E-Commerce Rules 2020, adding that these could lead to policy uncertainty, leading to an adverse impact on the ecosystem and the investment climate.

In a statement, Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International said, “The spirit of the consumer protection regime in India is to protect the end consumers and to that end provide a layman friendly legal process. But the proposed amendments, which include many elements of Platform-to-Business (P2B) and Business-to-Business (B2B) regulations, will add to the complexity and go against the spirit of the Consumer Protection Act.”

“We were expecting some policy response by the Government on the concerns of agitating retailers against big e-commerce platforms, but that would come via the Consumer Protection Act and Rules was a big surprise to us,” Mehta added.

Stating that there are ongoing investigations against the big e-commerce platforms by the Enforcement Directorate and the Competition Commission of India on concerns like ‘preferential treatment’ and ‘deep discounting’, Mehta added that the government should “withdraw the impugned proposal and should wait for the outcome of such investigations in order to take any further policy decisions.”

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