India may soon make it compulsory for ecommerce companies to display clearly whether a product being sold on their platform is made in the country or not, as the government seeks to curb Chinese imports.
The clause is likely to be a part of the ecommerce policy that the commerce and industry ministry is drafting. “We will mandate ecommerce players to display whether a product is made in India or not. We are actively looking to enable that. This will help cut out Chinese goods,” said an official aware of the matter.
China had a trade surplus of about $47 billion with India in the first 11 months of the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2020.
“It will be like a checkmark, wherein consumers can decide to buy goods made in India,” said the official, adding that the policy would soon be put in public domain for comment.
The Draft National Ecommerce Policy, which the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade had floated last year, mandated ecommerce companies to make seller details available on the marketplace website for all products. It had proposed that the full name of the legal entity, its address and contact details be provided.
“Sellers must provide an undertaking to the platform about genuineness of products they are selling and the same must be made accessible to consumers,” the draft had proposed, as part of a measure to check online sale of counterfeits.
Experts said the move to have clearly labelled goods on emarketplaces was a positive one and would support Atmanirbhar Bharat mission, besides giving consumers the option of buying locally made products upfront. “Given the sentiment today, it syncs well with the country’s agenda of self-reliance and will alert people to what they are buying,” said an expert on ecommerce.
The draft policy may also pitch for a regulator with powers to penalise those who spread misinformation. The policy aims at promotion of ecommerce, jobs, rural productivity and exports.