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Ban on flash sales, appoint compliance officers: Centre suggests changes to e-commerce rules


The Centre on Monday suggested amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020, including a ban on fraudulent flash sales by e-commerce companies.

In a statement, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that some e-commerce entities were limiting consumer choice by indulging in “back to back” or “flash sales”. The ministry defined the term as sales organised “by an e-commerce entity at significantly reduced prices, high discounts or any other such promotions or attractive offers for a predetermined period of time on selective goods and services or otherwise with an intent to draw large number of consumers”.

The ministry has also proposed prohibiting mis-selling, in which entities sell goods or services by misrepresenting information. “To ensure that consumers are aware about the expiry date of the products they are buying on the e-commerce platform all sellers on marketplace e-commerce entities and all inventory e-commerce entities to provide best before or use before date to enable consumers to make an informed purchase decision,” the statement said.

According to the proposed rules, the e-commerce platforms will need to appoint a chief compliance officer, a nodal officer, a resident grievance officer and other officials to ensure compliance with the government’s orders.

The companies would also need to register with the…

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