ONDC to help small traders gain from digital world: Goyal

NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the government did not want to let e-commerce and large format retail wipe out corner shops and neighbourhood stores and the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will help small traders take advantage of the digital world.
The minister also hit out at some of the practices, such as preferential treatment to certain sellers where e-commerce players such as Amazon and Flipkart held stake, and said that several aspects were being investigated by the ED. He also alleged that these practices led to exploitation of sellers on these platforms. Goyal said that ONDC — which began a test run — will also help consumers make better choices, while providing an equal opportunity to traditional retailers. Goyal said that the existence of small retailers could have come under threat as was the case in countries such as the US, where e-commerce giants have adversely impacted retail shops, leading to loss of livelihood. “We do not want that to happen in India.
We want them (small retailers) to get an opportunity to use technology to serve our consumers, we want them to get an equal opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the digital world, we want their data to be protected,” he told reporters. ONDC is a set of protocols and a technology-based solution which allows everybody to trade on a common platform, he said. Goyal also said that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) provided opportunities to small businesses to participate in government procurement.

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