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Govt considering SEBI-like independent regulatory authority for e-commerce

This move comes after many allegations and subsequent investigations involving e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart, although the government itself appears to lack consensus here.  We missed this earlier: The Indian government is considering establishing an independent regulatory authority for e-commerce, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement. The authority will be similar to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the government said. What functions and powers will the proposed e-commerce regulator have? The government has not shared many details on the proposed regulator apart from suggesting that it will be like SEBI. SEBI is a statutory regulatory body established in 1992 to regulate India's capital and securities market and protect the interests of investors. Likewise, the proposed e-commerce regulator will likely be a statutory regulatory body established in accordance with an appropriate Act with the role of regulating India's e-commerce space and protecting the interest of consumers. Using SEBI as a framework, we can expect the following: The proposed e-commerce regulator can have powers in three areas: Quasi-Judicial: This will allow the regulator to conduct hearings and deliver judgments related to illegal and unfair trade practices or violation of rules as far as e-commerce is concerned. Quasi-Executive: This allows the regulator to enforce the regulations and judgments made and to take legal action against violators such as issue penalties or punishments. It also allows the regulator to carry out inspections and seek information needed for its investigations. Quasi-Legislative: This gives the regulator the power to help frame new rules and regulations to protect the…

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