E-commerce Ecosystem: Through transforming their operations to manage both online and offline sales, India may soon incentivize Kirana stores that become part of the e-commerce ecosystem.
The special incentive package for mom and pop stores in the smaller format is likely to be part of the e-commerce policy. It is getting drafted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
“We will offer incentives for Kiranas willing to integrate their operations on the e-commerce platform so that the switchover could be swift.
The incentives could be in the form of interest subventions on loans required for the switchover or as one time grant,” said officials privy to the development.
Several technology firms and e-commerce agencies, including Facebook, Walmart, and Amazon, have provided the technologies needed to help Kiranas connect with the e-commerce platforms. Trade organizations have also introduced numerous programs for this switchover. It will allow small store owners to get the requisite skills to manage online sales as well.
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The policy is also likely to encourage established e-commerce players in their formats to enter local stores and facilitate their sales.
In fact, e-commerce firms will be asked to put full seller information on their website. This will help customers to make informed decisions and even look to use goods sold on the site. It will be also beneficial for fast delivery and service by nearby shops.
Last year, the Department for Industry Promotion and Internal Trade (DPIIT) floated the draft National Ecommerce Policy for comments from stakeholders.
This month, the proposal is scheduled to be finalized and announced later.
The overarching goal of the policy is to promote the country’s e-commerce ecosystem, increase employment, and rural productivity, along with exports.
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An e-commerce regulator with penal powers is also expected to be set up in the policy. The regulator will search and penalize businesses that distribute false information or fail to comply with the regulations. It will also have the right to revoke the company’s license or refer it to antitrust authorities for any anti-competitive activity.
As per the officials, the policy would not mandate data location for all e-commerce firms.
However, this would be required in the case of three-four key strategic sectors for the storage of genetic material or any other material data.