Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting to review the progress of Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) today in New Delhi.
It was apprised that since the alpha launch in 5 cities in April, ONDC has been testing with a closed user group for end to end execution to understand their fulfilment. ONDC expects the number of network participants to substantially increase to more than 30 in the coming weeks. Building on this, ONDC plans to start beta-testing the network with public users in limited areas.
Shri Goyal said that while continuing various network development initiatives, we must keep in mind that the basic purpose of ONDC is to assist the small, undigitized trader, who must be assisted to get digitized and avail opportunities offered by the e-commerce ecosystem.
He said that 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 made about products, fulfilment of orders in time, no-questions-asked returns policies, and consumer friendly refunds and cancellations. ONDC will be tested against these benchmarks. ONDC must create consumer trust through robust mechanisms for ensuring redressal of grievances of consumers and enforcing transparent policies for returns, refunds and cancellations, he added. These policies are to be implemented at the network level.
Minister Goyal directed Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to work with all State Governments to create awareness about the utility of ONDC and devise programs in collaboration with state governments so that small traders, artisans, handicraftsmen, farmers, MSMEs from across the country are able to take full advantage of this open network.
Shri Goyal expressed his desire that ONDC must work in active cooperation with traders and industry associations to implement the network at the ground level. Faster scaling up can be achieved with the cooperation of these associations.
He desired that ONDC must work with the startup ecosystem to encourage and assist more entrepreneurs from across the country to develop e-commerce apps and assist their local traders, artisans, handicraftsmen, farmers, MSMEs, etc. All government supported Incubators and other institutions and mechanisms working for innovation and entrepreneurship should be leveraged.
The meeting was also attended by Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman QCI,Shri T Koshy, MD & CEO of ONDC and Shri Arvind Gupta, Founder, My Gov.