New Delhi, May 14: The Indian government is reportedly planning to make it mandatory for e-commerce companies to comply with the new quality forms for e-retailers. The government wishes that companies follow the quality norms for customer reviews and control fake reviews. The government of India had already issued the new quality norms a year ago; however, many customers still posted fake reviews about the products and services. 

According to a report by ET Retail, Nidhi Khare, Secretary at the Consumer Affairs Ministry (DoCA), said that a year had passed since the new quality norms were published that prohibited the e-commerce platforms from publishing paid reviews. The government demanded disclosure of such types of promotional content. She said that the voluntary standards were notified a year ago for 'online reviews', and some entities said that they were complying with the new norms. However, the Secretary of DoCA said that fake reviews were still getting posted regardless. Amazon Investment in India: E-Commerce Giant Pumps Rs 1,600 Crore in Its India Arm 'Amazon Seller Services'.

Nidhi Khare further said that to protect the customer's interest, the government should make these announced standards mandatory. She reportedly emphasised that the ministry would schedule a meeting on May 15 with the e-commerce companies and consumer organisations to discuss the "proposed move" further. 

How Can Fake or Misleading Reviews and Ratings Affect Consumers?

The report said that fake reviews and ratings could provide incorrect information to customers. The report said that the proposed move had been in the backdrop of the growing Indian online retail sector. The online retail sector in India is expected to increase significantly till 2030 and likely become a USD 325 billion market. The report said that the  Indian online retail market was USD 70 billion in 2022, according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India's report. Microsoft Announces To Invest 4 Billion Euros in Cloud and AI Infrastructure During ‘Choose France’ Summit, Promises to Growing Artificial Intelligence Economy of Country.

As per the report by ET Retail, the ministry's BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) formulated and issued new standards related to "Online Customer Reviews" in November 2022. The new norms reportedly barred the publishing of reviews that were fake or misleading. This included the reviews purchased by and written by individuals employed specifically for publishing the reviews by the supplier or any third party concerned with the same motive. The report highlighted that customers buying products through e-commerce retailers would not have any chance to inspect the products physically. Therefore, they would need to rely on online reviews.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 14, 2024 04:44 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website