Cash fine of up to Rs 200,000 proposed for misconduct by online business operators

Published On: January 3, 2021 11:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The government has sought to fine up to Rs 200,000 those traders who carry out online business platforms without taking license and breaching the relevant laws of e-commerce platforms.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, preparing a draft on ‘Electronic Business Act 2020,’ has sought to enforce the law to frame unscrupulous traders deliberately using electronic transaction means to cheat consumers.

Following the spread of the coronavirus and lockdown, the scope of e-commerce has been expanding in the domestic market too. But due to the lack of related laws, consumers who are cheated by the sellers have no ground to follow and win a legal battle against any misconduct by the sellers.

A notable number of complaints that the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection received against such traders during the lockdown period also provides evidence of the growing anomalies in the sector. Most of the complaints were related to misleading advertisements, selling of substandard products and problems in returning the sold items, among others.

According to the department officials, in a number of cases, the buyers even had to wait for over a month to get their money back if in case the goods were returned to the sellers.  

The proposed act has sought to make sellers refund money to the clients as soon as possible if the sold goods are defective or not the same as ones ordered by the buyers.

After the law is enforced, all players of online business - producers, sellers and service providers — will have to take separate licenses. The proposed act talks to make liable all these operators to consider the grievances of the buyers.

The online business operators should create electronic platform including a website and clearly mention details such as contact number, officials to take complaints of consumers, price of goods, transport cost, service charge and any additional taxes, if applicable.


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