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ONDC Update: Will be open to public soon, NPCI to pick up stake in network, and more

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting to review the progress of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)

Source: Press India Bureau

What's the news: Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on 30 August chaired a meeting to review the progress of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). "It was apprised that since the alpha launch in 5 cities in April, ONDC has been testing with a closed user group for end-to-end execution to understand their fulfilment. ONDC expects the number of network participants to substantially increase to more than 30 in the coming weeks. Building on this, ONDC plans to start beta-testing the network with public users in limited areas," the government said in a press release. Progress since the last meeting: In a review meeting held on June 23, it was informed that ONDC was undergoing pilot testing in five cities and had onboarded 7 network participants. Over the last two months, the network appears to have onboarded over 20 more participants and expanded testing to over 20 cities. Why does this matter: The review meetings help us gauge the progress of ONDC, which is being pitched by the government as an initiative to 1) break the dominance held by Amazon and Flipkart in e-commerce in India and 2) bring more small businesses online. While a public launch was expected in August, there now appears to be a delay. ONDC must create consumer trust to be able to compete with existing platforms: "Existing e-commerce platforms are popular because they remain consumer-focused. They have created robust trust in their platforms based on their ability to deliver on promises made about products, fulfilment of…

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