Hyderabad: Fifty-eight per cent of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) want the government to reconsider the amendment it made recently to the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) rules 2020. “We find that tracking and restricting sales will hit our businesses hard,” they said.
The MSMEs say the appointment of a grievance officer in relation to online sales is not advisable as no such provision existed in the offline sales. In the pandemic season, small businesses have shifted to e-commerce platforms, started their own websites and apps, it was pointed out.
Sales of products are now driven mostly on-line, as with charcoal, wooden sticks for tandoor foods, utensils, foldable cupboards etc which were not fast-moving items in the past, and are now going off the rack.
These household items were not popular as they were old-fashioned. During the pandemic season, kitchen items, food-making accessories, plastic buckets, mugs, dustbins and cleaning products have seen a huge sales rise. Some 60 per cent of these units are now doing sales on e-commerce platforms. In a survey by Local Circles, it was noted that over 3,000 businesses have seen a jump in online sales from 50 to 100 per cent.
Ahmed Khan, a businessman selling ceramic ware in Hyderabad said, "After the first lockdown we realised that digital presence was the only way forward. It took us six months to make our website and now the business is picking up."
Sujath Ali, a small businessman in the gaming sector, says: "In online sales, the return policy (for goods that are not found to be satisfactory to the user) is in force for seven days. This facility is not provided for offline sales. The government must see such aspects too and encourage online sales rather than putting spokes in our wheels.”
Vinod Kumar, president of India SME Forum said, "Policies must such that will help retailers and traders to easily shift to online platforms."...