Govt taking steps to keep digital market fair & secure: Paswan
New Delhi: Expressing concern over challenges faced by online consumers, the government on Thursday said it is taking steps to put in place adequate safeguards to keep digital marketplaces fair and secure.
Once the consumer protection bill is passed in Parliament, the government will frame comprehensive rules to regulate the e-commerce market, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said at an event organised to commemorate the World Consumers Right Day.
"There are issues and challenges for online consumers that they normally would not face when shopping traditionally... Cyber crime is becoming a major area of concern," he added.
The openness of the internet, the lack of identification and the low level of users' understanding of security, particularly among the first-time users, is a major area that requires focused efforts, he said.
The Consumer Affairs and the Information Technology Ministries are working in tandem to create digital awareness programmes and to deal with digital payment related grievances, Paswan added.
That apart, efforts are being made to formulate comprehensive rules to regulate e-commerce from business to consumer perspective, the minister said.
The government is on the right track in enabling the consumers to harness the full benefits of digitization and putting in place adequate safeguards against risks associated with the electronic world, he added.
In order to safeguard the interest of consumers, Paswan said, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is in the process of adopting ISO Standard -- ISO 10008:2013 -- on guidelines for business-to-consumer electronic commerce transactions, for improving an effective and efficient business-to-consumer electronic commerce transaction system within an organization.
With rise in number of e-transactions, National Cyber-security Coordinator Gulshan Rai said more steps need to be taken to safeguard online consumers as e-transactions are expected to reach USD 200 billion by 2025. E-transactions in the country today is more than 2.2 billion per day, while it is 60 billion transaction per day the world over, he added.
"There are issues like who is the regulator of digital market place? How do we handle the consumer grievances?... Frauds in ATMs and credit cards are very complex and solving them is a bit difficult," he said and stressed the need to take more steps to address these problems.