India’s government is close to finalising its National E-commerce Policy and could make an announcement in the coming weeks, according to local reports.

A number of key stakeholders met on Wednesday in what was reportedly the final consultation in a series of meetings that have happened since an initial draft of the E-commerce Policy was released in 2019.

The meeting was chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and included representatives of the industry’s leading players Reliance Retail, Flipkart, Amazon and Tata Digital. Also present was the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), represented by its Secretary General, Praveen Khandelwal

He told reporters that the policy is likely to address traditional retail issues such as deep discounting, private labels, third-party involvement and predatory pricing by e-commerce companies. Another key focus of the policy will be consumer protection, particularly hidden charges and quality of service.

As digital commerce continues to evolve globally, online shopping in India is rapidly changing how consumers shop. Although only 6% of India’s $900bn retail market comes from e-commerce, it still represents one of the fastest growing markets in the world. In 2022, 200 million people in India bought something online. By 2027, the number of online shoppers is predicted to rise to 500 million in a market worth $170bn.

It is against this backdrop that the new rules on e-commerce will be introduced under the Consumer Protection Act, or CPA, 2019. These proposed rules will build on previous efforts to regulate the sector, such as the E-Commerce Rules 2020 and the 2021 draft amendments to the E-commerce Rules.

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Image source: Photo by Tarun Dhiman via Unsplash