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e-CAB provides proposals to resolve e-commerce crisis

  • Published at 12:45 pm September 23rd, 2021
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e-CAB believes that the Digital Commerce Cell under the Ministry of Commerce needs to be activated. Furthermore, the ministry should increase the manpower in the cell

The e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) has given six proposals to the Ministry of Commerce and relevant regulatory bodies to resolve the current situation of the e-commerce sector in Bangladesh. 

The proposals are: 

Activating Digital Commerce Cell and increasing its efficiency

e-CAB believes that the Digital Commerce Cell under the Ministry of Commerce needs to be activated. Furthermore, the ministry should increase the manpower in the cell. The new manpower should have the necessary technological knowledge. There might also be a different unit named “Artificial Intelligence Unit”. 

Forming committees based on Digital Commerce Policy-2018

The organisation recommended forming three different committees based on the Digital Commerce Policy of 2018. The committees are: 

  1. Risk Factor Management Committee: e-CAB recommended making a risk factor management committee in coordination with the Public Administration Ministry, ICT Division, Commerce Ministry, Competition Commission, Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, (DNCRP) Bangladesh Bank and other relevant organisations. This committee will monitor and control the risky behaviours of e-commerce platforms. 

  2. Technical Committee: Bangladesh Bank may form a technical committee to monitor the financial transactions of the e-commerce platforms. 

  3. Advisory Committee: This committee has already been formed based on the Digital commerce Policy of 2018. However, the activities of the committee should be regularised.

Introducing Escrow service via Bangladesh Bank

e-CAB proposed introducing an automated Escrow system via Bangladesh Bank. 

According to Investopedia, Escrow is a legal concept describing a financial instrument whereby an asset or escrow money is held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction.

Besides the central bank, card issuers, payment aggregator merchants, delivery agents and customers can be given access to dashboards so that they can cancel purchase orders anytime they want. DNCRP can also be given access for monitoring purposes.  

Delivery or logistics aggregator platform connected with the postal department

According to existing laws, one needs to get a license from the postal department in order to provide courier service. However, if one decides not to take a license from the postal department, the couriers do not fall under any surveillance. That’s why the whole process should be automated. 

Under this service, merchants, consumers and delivery agents will connect and confirm deliveries using PIN or OTP. The Escrow service will release the merchant fund based on the report.

Forming Central Digital Complaint Management System with Commerce Ministry or DNCRP

An automated system needs to be implemented under the Commerce Ministry or DNCRP which will monitor the complaints.

Currently, consumers can complain to the DNCRP via letter or e-mail. However, the complaints need to be checked manually. If a Digital Complaint Management System is formed, it will be possible to add e-CAB and other concerned authorities to this process and e-CAB will be able to provide technical assistance in this regard. 

A charge can be specified for each complaint, which will eventually be used to maintain the cost of the system. 

Implementation of law

DNCRP or Competition Commission can punish companies by instantly implementing current laws. While taking actions under e-commerce law can take time, the current law can ensure a speedy trial.

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