India is working on formulating comprehensive guidelines to deal with e-commerce, a concept fast catching up in the country, parliament was told on Friday.
The consumer affairs ministry has already started working on this and has sought suggestions from other ministries like finance, communications, and information technology to carry the plan forward, consumer affairs minister K V Thomas said in the Rajya Sabha.
"No international-level study has been conducted on the subject. However, to formulate a comprehensive policy on the issue, suggestions from other ministries ... have been sought," Thomas said.
Answering a supplementary during Question Hour, he said the subject of e-commerce was relatively new, but had become extremely crucial due to global digital integration, widespread use of the internet, and the convenience of on-line business transactions.
During the July meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), India had expressed a strong view supporting regulation of e-commerce to protect interest of global consumers, Thomas said.
"The problems faced by consumers in e-commerce need to be tackled globally since in many cases, buyers, sellers, manufacturers, website owners, payment gateways are located in different countries," he added.
"India is in close touch with UNCTAD, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network, etc, to ensure global co-operation in the matter."