Government may set up independent regulatory authority for E-commerce sector

Centre may set up an independent regulatory authority for the e-commerce sector much like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), an official statement said on Friday. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is also working towards setting up an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform. Commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Friday chaired a meeting to review the ONDC initiative, along with members of its advisory committee. In the meeting, Goyal suggested some guidelines or basic infrastructure, size, ethics and principles of the platform. ONDC is a network based on open protocol and will enable local commerce across segments, such as mobility, grocery, food order and delivery, hotel booking and travel, among others, to be discovered and engaged by any network-enabled application.

The platform aims to create new opportunities, curb digital monopolies and by supporting micro, small and medium enterprises and small traders and help them get on online platforms. “ONDC shall take all measures to ensure confidentiality & privacy of data in the network. ONDC shall not mandate sharing of any transaction-level data by participants     with ONDC. Will work with its participants to publish anonymised aggregate metrics on network performance without compromising on confidentiality and privacy,” an official statement said. The platform will also be compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000 and designed for compliance with the emerging Personal Data Protection Bill “Merchants will be able to save their data under ONDC to build credit history and reach consumers,” the statement said. Last month, DPIIT had set up an advisory committee, comprising experts like Infosys Chairman and Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani, National Health Authority Chief Executive Officer R S Sharma, among others, to advise the government on designing and accelerating the adoption of ONDC.

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