The DPIIT on Wednesday sought views of e-commerce firms like Amazon and Flipkart on mentioning the 'country of origin' on each product sold through their platforms, according to sources. The e-commerce companies said displaying the information is doable, but they need some time to implement it, the sources added.
The issue was discussed in detail at a meeting convened by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Representatives of e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Tata Cliq, Paytm, Udaan and Pepperfry participated in the meeting through video-conferencing. This comes against the backdrop of calls to boycott Chinese goods following border clashes between India and China in Ladakh.
The government procurement portal GeM has made it mandatory for suppliers/sellers to specify the country of origin while registering new products on the portal.
According to the sources, mentioning the country of origin would help buyers take an informed decision while purchasing the item.
"It was told to the companies that country of origin should be displayed prominently on the products. The companies stated that it is doable, but they need some time for this," a source said.
Another company source said there was no disconnect with the idea, but the firms have to check with their technology teams to figure out how long it will take to get this done. The companies suggested to the department to also take sellers' views on the matter as compliance would be needed from their side as well.
"The DPIIT will hold another meeting on this in a few days, most probably in July," a source said.
Domestic traders' body CAIT has demanded making it mandatory for e-commerce firms to mention the 'country of origin' on each product sold on their platforms.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal claimed that most e-commerce platforms are selling Chinese goods and consumer are not well aware of this fact. The confederation has launched a campaign to boycott Chinese goods.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) too has urged the government to make it mandatory for e-commerce firms to mention the country of manufacture or origin of a product so that people can identify if the goods are made in China.