New Delhi: In what seems to be a major blow to online shoppers, the government may be looking to curb deep discounting, which is a common practice on online e-commerce websites. Currently, many online e-commerce portals are offering massive amounts of discount on certain products. As per the new draft e-commerce policy, practices followed by companies such as Flipkart and Amazon to deliver deep discount should be regulated, reported TOI.
The draft policy, shared with stakeholders on Monday, also proposed a legislation to cover popular food delivery sites such as Zomato and Swiggy; other online service providers such as UrbanClap, Paytm and Policybazaar will also come under the policy. However, the biggest deterrent here is for online shoppers who often prefer browsing online in a bid to get better offers. However, the government does not seem to be happy with e-commerce companies who are offering products at a highly discounted price. There has been a huge debate on the issue.
It is worth mentioning that the government’s plan will include multiple aspects. Apart from proposing a guideline to curb deep discounting, the draft bill also addresses consumer protection, grievance redressal, FDI, local data storage; it also aims to protect the interest of small and medium scale enterprises.
Worth mentioning that the draft will undergo a revision before public consultations and it may be noted that it also recommended a regulator for the sector. Considering that India’s e-commerce market is roughly valued at $25 billion – expected to touch $200 billion in a decade – cutting discounts can hinder the growth cycle.
While the e-commerce growth in India has been impressive over the past few years, there are many challenges that they face. For instance, physical stores have lodged complains against online entities, suggesting that illegal discounts are being offered online. As of now, no direct action has been taken by the government to curb discounts on online sales. However, with brands also complaining that some of their products are being offered at heavily discounted prices, the government seems to have taken the matter seriously.