Mandatory anti-counterfeit review rules for e-commerce companies soon, meeting to be held tomorrow to decide outline of rule book

New Delhi: E-commerce platforms will soon be held to stricter standards for consumer reviews, as the consumer affairs ministry plans to crack down on fake feedback, a top government official said.

The government initiative comes after the failure of a voluntary system implemented a year ago to curb fake reviews. A meeting is scheduled for May 15 to finalize the guidelines, the official said.

The mechanism banned platforms from publishing paid reviews, and required disclosure of promotional material, but complaints about substandard products are on the rise, indicating that e-commerce platforms are not following the rulebook. Were staying.

After reviewing all such complaints, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) concluded that there is a need for mandatory rules to curb fake reviews, as consumers are at risk of being fleeced, the official said.

'Fake reviews are still being published'

Consumer Affairs Secretary Nidhi Khare said, “The voluntary standard on online reviews was notified a year ago. However, despite some e-commerce players claiming that they are complying with it, fake reviews are still being published. Have been.”

Khare said representatives of most of the e-commerce companies are expected to attend the meeting to participate in the discussion. He said that the government wants to make these standards mandatory to protect consumer interests.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), operating under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, issued standards for online consumer reviews in November 2022, including paid reviews and reviews written by persons appointed for the purpose by the supplier or a third party. But it was banned.

With the rise of ecommerce services, consumers typically rely on online reviews for purchasing decisions, with little possibility of direct inspection. But misleading reviews can lead to purchases based on wrong information.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), an organization of the Commerce Ministry, the Indian e-commerce industry is expected to reach $300 billion by 2030. Third-party logistics providers are projected to handle approximately 17 billion shipments within seven years.

The IBEF report states that India's e-tailing market is estimated to exceed $160 billion by 2028. In 2023, it was projected to be worth $57–60 billion, translating into an annual increase of $8–12 billion since 2020.

Furthermore, according to the report, India's online grocery sales are projected to grow from $3.95 billion in FY2011 to $26.93 billion in FY2017, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33%.

India's consumer digital economy is expected to grow from $537.5 billion in 2020 to a $1 trillion market by 2030 due to increased adoption of online services including e-commerce and edtech.

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