ONDC to soon open up for beta-testing for public in limited areas
After conducting a pilot launch in five cities with a closed user group, the government’s ambitious Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will soon open for beta-testing with the public in limited areas.
Since April-end, ONDC has been testing with a closed user group for end-to-end execution. The number of network participants are expected to increase to more than 30 in the coming weeks, an official statement said. The issue was discussed at the review meeting on the progress of ONDC on Tuesday.
The meeting was chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. At the meeting, the minister emphasised that it was crucial to remember that the basic purpose of ONDC was to assist small, undigitised trader, and assisted them to get digitised and avail of opportunities offered by the e-commerce ecosystem.
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He called for development of robust mechanisms for redressal of grievances of consumers, transparent policies for returns, refunds and cancellations, on a par with the practices of the e-commerce companies. Such policies will have to be implemented at the ONDC network level.
“Existing e-commerce platforms are popular because they remain consumer-focused. They have created robust trust in their platforms based on their ability to deliver on promises on products, fulfilment of orders in time, no-questions-asked returns policies, and consumer-friendly refunds and cancellations. ONDC will be tested against these benchmarks,” the statement quoted Goyal as saying.
Goyal asked the industry department to work with all state governments and create awareness about the utility of ONDC, devise programs in collaboration with states governments to help small traders, artisans, handicraftsman, farmers, MSMEs take advantage of this open network.
The meeting was also attended by Anurag Jain, secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT); Anil Agrawal, additional secretary, DPIIT; Adil Zainulbhai, chairman, QCI; T Koshy, MD and CEO of ONDC; and Arvind Gupta, Founder of MyGov.
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