Government plans to boost e-commerce with Open Network for Digital Commerce
The Union Government plans to create an 'Open Network for Digital Commerce' to enable shoppers to find the products they need in terms of location and product details to boost domestic business.
Aiming to replicate the success of the United Payment Interface (UPI) model, the government plans to launch its own network to connect shoppers to sellers and logistics partners, TNN reported. Shoppers will be able to log in and browse products or services on the platform then pay for them through specially connected payments gateways, a source close to the development told the Times of India.
The government is consulting with an advisory group which includes Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani and National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma in order to ensure the platform functions well. The government has also conducted an initial pilot programme for the service with taxis and auto-rickshaws.
In the next stage of the plan, the network aims to onboard kirana stores, fast-moving consumer goods retailers, and delivery service providers to test the system out in locations including Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur, and Kochi among others. These pilot schemes will run over the coming six months, sources told the Times of India.
The open network is designed to decentralise e-commerce as the current platform system encourages sellers to sell their goods on a handful of large e-commerce platforms. This concentrates the market to a small group of businesses, of which some of the largest are foreign-owned. The network would rival U.S-owned businesses Amazon and Flipkart and its selling point is designed to be that sellers and buyers need not be registered on the same platform to do business together.
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