A new e-commerce policy to curb Chinese imports

New Delhi: India may soon force e-commerce companies to display clearly whether the product being sold on its platform is made in the country or not, as the government seeks to curb Chinese imports.

The item may be part of the e-commerce policy formulated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. "We will mandate e-commerce players to display whether the product is made in India or not. We are actively seeking to enable that. An official familiar with this matter said that this would help cut out Chinese products."

China had a trade surplus of about $ 47 billion with India in the first 11 months of the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2020.

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"It will be like a checkmark, as consumers can decide to buy products made in India," the official said, adding that the policy would soon be published in the public domain for comment.

The National E-Commerce Policy, published by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Promotion had floated last year, mandated e-commerce companies to provide seller details available on the market's website for all products. It was suggested that the full name, address, and contact details of the legal entity be provided.

As part of to check the online sale of counterfeits,  the draft had proposed, "Sellers must provide an undertaking regarding the authenticity of the products they sell and consumers should have access to."

Experts said that the decision to clearly mark goods on marketplaces was a positive one and would support Atmanirbhar Bharat's mission, as well as give consumers the option to purchase local products in advance. An e-commerce expert said: " Given the sentiment today, it syncs well with the country's self-sufficiency agenda, and it will alert people to what they are buying."

The draft policy can also pitch for a regulator with powers to penalise those who spread misinformation. The policy aims to promote e-commerce, jobs, rural productivity, and exports.

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