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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Will take balanced approach on changes to consumer protection rules for e-commerce: Govt

Speaking to reporters, Nandan said, “We have received a lot of suggestions and views… now, taking them into account, we will come out with whatever is the best formulation from the consumer’s perspective.”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 8, 2021 8:08:04 am
The Consumer Affairs Secretary’s remarks come at a time when the Department of Consumer Affairs is facing criticism from within and outside the government over the draft e-commerce rules.

The Centre will take a “balanced” approach while finalising the proposed amendments to Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Nandan said, “We have received a lot of suggestions and views… now, taking them into account, we will come out with whatever is the best formulation from the consumer’s perspective.”

Asked when the government is expected to finalise the rules, she said that it is difficult to give a timeline because there are so many issues that have come up and all of them require a lot of deliberation and discussion.

Asked if there will be any relook on certain provisions of the draft rules, Nandan said, “We are going into great detail on each provision…as there are many wide views from both sides…It has to be calibrated and finally [a] balanced perspective has to be arrived at. We are in that process.”

Observing that the e-commerce sector is very relevant, the Secretary said, “There have been considered efforts by all e-commerce companies. However, there are always emerging areas which come up when you get into it as this could be done better. This rule could be strengthened; it could be sharpened; it could be focused. Therefore, the exercise is to get to a situation which is better formulation from the consumer perspective.”

The Consumer Affairs Secretary’s remarks come at a time when the Department of Consumer Affairs is facing criticism from within and outside the government over the draft e-commerce rules.

The department released the draft amendments to the e-commerce rules in June. In July last year, the government notified the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, under Section 101 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

Earlier, speaking about the activities of the National Test House (NTH), a 109-year-old government quality assurance laboratory that provides material testing facilities for the industry, consumers and government agencies in all domains of engineering, Nandan said that NTH is an example of how India as a country has moved ahead with time in research, development, technology. She said the NTH plans to introduce a wider testing facility for quality assurance of toys, helmets, air conditioners and other items.

Sharing the details Vineet Mathur, joint secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, said that the NTH plans to establish a complete food testing laboratory in Kolkata, a facility for transformers’ ability to withstand short circuit at Ghaziabad, for impulse voltage testing and transformer test in Chennai, for air conditioners in Mumbai and for toys at Mumbai and Jaipur.

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