Alongside the ONDC project, the government is also proposing changes to existing legislation that could have far-reaching consequences in the e-commerce space. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on Monday appointed nine members to the advisory council for the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government press release stated. ONDC is a digital project launched by the government in 2020 to develop an open UPI-like architecture for the e-commerce landscape. The project aims to set protocols for cataloguing, vendor discovery, and price discovery, and standardise the process of onboarding retailers onto e-marketplaces as well as the supply and delivery of products through online channels. Currently, different platforms have different rules, making it difficult for small sellers to adopt and sell online. "ONDC aims at promoting open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform. ONDC is expected to digitize the entire value chain, standardize operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics and enhance value for consumers." - Press Release The project was launched in the wake of a large number of complaints of malpractices and monopolistic tendencies of existing e-commerce companies. Last November, the government had set up a steering committee to formulate, implement, and provide policy oversight on ONDC. The DPIIT has assigned the work of carrying out a pilot for ONDC to the Quality Council of India. Amendments to E-Commerce Rules taking place parallel The ONDC announcement comes at a time when another major overhaul…
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