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Discuss the issues associated with Draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, do you think drafted in the name of consumer interest, the proposed e-commerce rules shield vested interests?

Topic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

4. Discuss the issues associated with Draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, do you think drafted in the name of consumer interest, the proposed e-commerce rules shield vested interests? (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The proposed Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, have been drafted ostensibly in the name of the consumer.  The rules are driven more by the desire to shield the traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and handicap e-commerce firms, especially the foreign ones.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the issues associated with Draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with basics of the draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

Body:

Discuss the issues with the provisions of draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

Explain how the fall-back liability clause is unfair for those operating through marketplace model. Identifying goods based on country of origin and providing fair opportunity to domestic sellers, Overlapping/competing jurisdictions.

Explain that the lines of demarcation that have been drawn up in the retail landscape — single brand vs multi-brand, online vs offline, domestic vs foreign — serve only to protect powerful vested interests, not benefit the consumer as is often proclaimed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.