Friday, June 2, 2023

    E-commerce operating guidelines to be finalized Wednesday

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    Being drafted considering the recent uproar regarding misconducts and consumer rights violations by several e-commerce sites

    A guideline entailing the operating procedure of e-commerce outlets is set to be finalized on Wednesday.

    In this regard, an inter-ministerial meeting will be held on the day led by Commerce Ministry Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh.

    The Digital Commerce Management Guide-2021 is being drafted considering the recent uproar regarding misconducts and consumer rights violations by several e-commerce sites.

    The guideline is being prepared under the National Digital Commerce Policy, 2020 and the central e-commerce cell of the commerce ministry has already drafted a guideline.

    It has been reported that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs will also play an active role in the matter to ensure any vetting that is needed.
    According to the Ministry of Commerce, the aim and purpose of this guideline is to ensure transparency, accountability in the management of digital commerce, enable new entrepreneurs through building a fair competitive market and to increase consumer confidence by bringing regulation to the sector.

    If enacted, the guideline will change the e-commerce sector. Organizations will have to clearly state the terms of sale, return and exchange of goods or services on the website of the organization or on the marketplace.

    Additionally, organizations will have to refrain from lottery based promotions of both products and services and the consumer has to be informed about the stock of its products.

    According to the annual research report of Cyber Crime Awareness Foundation (CCA Foundation), a volunteer cyber security awareness organization, more than 11.48% customers of the e-commerce sector were deceived last year from various e-commerce and Facebook commerce (f-commerce) websites.

    The number was previously 7.44% in 2019.
    Proposed guidelines
    Multi level marketing or network business cannot be conducted through digital commerce
    Drugs, explosives or any other prohibited items cannot be bought or sold digitally
    In case of buying and selling drugs through digital, one has to get a license from the Department of Drug Administration
    If any personal information needs to be collected at the time of purchase and sale, the buyer’s permission must be obtained in advance
    All types of digital wallets, gift cards, cash vouchers or any other medium, which will be used as an alternative to money, must be done with the permission of Bangladesh Bank
    In case of conducting any kind of money business through digital, permission of Bangladesh Bank must be taken
    The buyer cannot be forced to buy any product directly or indirectly
    All digital commerce traders need to get a trade license / VAT registration / TIN / UBID / PRA

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