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Online shopping may not be cheap anymore as govt looks to regulate deep discounts

By Madhuri Adnal
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    New Delhi, July 31: You may not be able to enjoy those great discounts anymore, with the government looking to tighten the noose around deep discounting, which is a practice to lower prices on e-commerce platforms.

    Online shopping may not be cheap anymore as govt looks to regulate deep discounts

    The draft e-commerce policy shared with stakeholders on Monday for consultations has proposed that such pricing policy be stopped to regulate the sector. The proposed legislation will also cover food delivery sites and other online service aggregators.

    The plan is to include multiple aspects in the legislation - from consumer protection and grievance redressal to ownership, FDI, local storage of data, protecting micro, small and medium enterprises and mergers and acquisitions. The draft, which will undergo a revision before public consultations, has also suggested appointing a regulator for the sector.

    The policy would affect consumers who plan on checking discounts, something that offline retail lobbies have been pitching for. The e-commerce companies have however said that the seller offers the discount and not the marketplace.

    The policy also says that discount curbs would not be limited to only to the marketplace, but also would be extended to group companies as well. The deep discounts would include checks on differential pricing, which will restrict brands from offering two sets of prices for the same product sold offline and online.

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