What Does the E-commerce Consumer Protection Rules mean for MSME’S Sellers?

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The Indian E-Commerce sector is witnessing stiff competition from India’s juggernauts such as Reliance and Tata and the existing MNC’s such as Flipkart and Amazon. One of the big reasons behind their growth is the MSME sellers.  

The E-Commerce rules indicate uncompromising regulations over E-Commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, and others, which were under the radar due to reported false trade practices by the companies. The change in rules is due to the increasing complaints from consumers against biased business operations by E-Commerce companies. The changes in the rules by the government were made by putting the interest of MSME sellers in front, who raised their voice against the biased attitude of the E-Commerce companies towards them.  

Now let us look at the changes in rules made by the government for the MSME sellers. The first regulation brought by the government is that the E-Commerce firms which allow the sale of foreign goods and services in their platform shall provide rankings to the goods and services and should make sure that the ranking criteria do not differentiate against the domestic goods and sellers.  

The new rules also state that E-commerce platform will be held responsible if the seller is not able to dispatch the goods due to any kind of false action, exclusion, commission of any type by the seller which makes the customers suffer losses. E-Commerce industry is the future hence the E-Commerce companies must be held responsible if they are at fault. Another addition to the rules is that the logistics partners of the E-Commerce platforms should not discriminate between the sellers of the same product category.  

Another major rule added by the government which can be crucial is that none of the E-Commerce platform’s allied firms can be registered as sellers and are not allowed to sell the goods and services directly to the customers.  

The MSME sellers were demanding equality with large scale sellers especially those which are owned or co-owned by the E-Commerce platforms, hence the government has made changes in the rules and regulations of the E-Commerce industry to decrease the discrimination faced by the MSME sellers. Now it will be interesting to see whether the gap between MSME sellers and large sellers reduces or not. 

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