The ONDC will protect independent sellers on e-commerce platforms – News

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The ONDC will safeguard the interests of consumers and protect small businesses by giving them a fair chance to sell their products and services.

Published: Sat 23 Apr 2022, 5:50 PM

Last update: Sat 23 Apr 2022, 5:52 PM

Question: Some e-commerce companies display a preference for certain sellers of products and do not give the consumer the choice of all sellers. This restrictive practice causes a lot of heartburn among small producers and manufacturers. I hope that the Indian government looks into this issue and develops relevant guidelines.

A new platform called Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is being developed by the authorities for which rules need to be defined. These rules will apply to all businesses engaged in digital commerce. This is done to protect independent sellers on e-commerce platforms who have alleged that e-commerce companies give preferential treatment to certain sellers. On some platforms, a limited number of sellers appear more often than third-party entities.

Therefore, the government is working on new policies to bring “algorithmic fairness” for consumers who use e-commerce platforms. These rules will require e-commerce businesses to display search results from multiple sellers. The rules will also prevent e-commerce companies from sharing consumer buying behavior. The ONDC will safeguard the interests of consumers and protect small businesses by giving them a fair chance to sell their products and services. This framework is being developed by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India.

As food shortages are faced across the globe, will India be able to tap into the demand for critically needed staple foods in some African countries?

The Indian government has shown its willingness to supply food grains to the world if the World Trade Organization allows it. The government has agreed to increase shipments of wheat and sugar to help alleviate global food shortages due to the recent geopolitical situation. Currently, India has a huge stockpile of 51.3 million tons of rice and wheat and another 34 million tons of unmilled paddy which are in the hands of state governments.

The total stock as of April 1 this year is two and a half times what the government must keep in stock to meet the country’s requirements under the National Food Security Act and government-sponsored social protection programs. central. This cushion will allow the Indian government to ship food grains as quickly as logistically possible given the constraints of shipping lines.

The Indian meteorological department has predicted an almost normal monsoon season from June this year. Despite the fertilizer shortage, the foodgrain production target is estimated at 328 million tonnes in 2022-23, which will add to the country’s surplus foodgrain stock.

As overseas tourism has been hit over the past financial year due to the Covid lockdown, has service sector export earnings taken a hit?

It is true that services such as tourism, aviation and hospitality were hit hard in the 2021-22 financial year due to the lockdown in several countries. However, exports of other services this fiscal year increased by more than 21% and for the first time reached the figure of 250 billion dollars, which is above the target of 225 billion dollars.

The import of services in the same fiscal year amounted to $144.8 billion. Therefore, with respect to the services sector, there is a trade surplus of $105.2 billion.

India’s overall trade, comprising goods and services, grew by 34%, with merchandise exports pegged at $420 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. During 2022-23, exports of goods and services are expected to surge given the trade agreements signed with the United Arab Emirates, Australia and other countries.

India will go beyond exporting low cost services to high level research services as well as exporting software in new critical areas of artificial intelligence, robotics etc.

HP Ranina is a practicing lawyer, specializing in tax management and foreign exchange laws of India.

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