New Delhi: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Tribal Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali Thursday said that access to e-commerce is important as half of the world’s population is offline and biggest thing that prevents consumer engagement in digital markets is lack of access to the internet. He said that broadband adoption in many areas remains particularly low due to poor telecommunication infrastructure and lack of electricity so there is a need to strengthen the broadband services even in the rural areas.
Zulfkar said that many areas of Jammu & Kashmir are still having problem in communication through internet and mobile and since the control on telecommunication lies with Government of India, the cellular and broadband services in Jammu & Kashmir must be strengthened.
“Particular attention should be given to ensuring access for marginalized or disadvantaged groups of consumers and those in remote areas”, he added. The Minister demanded banning online sellers, who are duping the consumers.
The function was chaired by the Union Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan wherein dignitaries from all over India participated. Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali represented Jammu & Kashmir and presented his talks on the topic “Making digital market places fairer”.
The Minister said that this year world is focusing on issues related to access to internet, online scams and better online protection. He said that Government of Jammu & Kashmir has already working on the lines to have complete checks on frauds with Consumers.
Appealing people to beware of online frauds, the Minister said that half of the people who never shops online, blame lack of trust and major contributor to this lack of consumer trust is fear of being scammed. He said shopping online can incur unexpected and unwelcome costs for consumers and these can arise from illegal and fraudulent scams, or from unfair, unclear and confusing business practices.
Quoting Australia for registration of online frauds, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said that in March 2017, the Austrian Government-run Scamwatch website received 531 reports accounting for 95,407 US Dolar lost by consumers. He said that such practices are also being reported in India on the name of Lotteries etc and there is need to curb and keep check on such practices.
“I demand Government of India to ban these agencies who are fraudulently looting consumers through online services”, the Minister said appreciating US for taking action against a company. He said that in 2016, Alibaba was placed on the US government’s blacklist of “notorious markets” known for peddling counterfeit goods and similar practice need to be adopted in India.
The Minister has also called upon Union Government for online protection of consumers. He said that fear of being cheated sometimes arises from the scams, sometimes from unfair, unclear and confusing business practices.