The e-commerce sector lacks accountability: stakeholders

| Update:
Sept. 19, 2021, 1:23 p.m.

Despite the huge expansion of the country’s e-commerce sector in recent times, the sector still lacks accountability due to the lack of an appropriate legal framework, speakers said on a broadcast on Saturday.

They also said it was imperative to take legal action against unscrupulous e-commerce operators and compensate cheated customers for the sake of this nascent industry.

They were speaking at a session titled “The Role of Government in Preventing Anarchy in the Electronic Commerce Sector”, following a mock parliamentary debate.

The Debate for Democracy (DfD) organized both events in the city that day, according to a statement.

Former President of the Bangladesh Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) AK Azad attended the session as the main guest, while DfD President Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron chaired the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, AK Azad said that some dishonest companies were stealing from ordinary people under the guise of e-commerce because the country did not have a full legal framework.

“All operators, who deceived people using the e-commerce model, should be penalized,” he said, stressing the need to compensate customers who have lost their money.

Since e-commerce operators have attracted people with attractive packages, many people have looked for investment opportunities there as an alternative to banks, said the former chairman of the FBCCI.

He also said that the number of defaults at state-owned banks was gradually increasing as international banks operating in the country had a lower amount of defaulted loans.

The entire financial sector could face a debacle if good governance and accountability are not established in the banking sector, the businessman said.

Mr. Azad also stressed the need to create jobs and develop skills, and improve the quality of education.

DfD Chairman Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron said e-commerce companies in the country are currently registered as Information Technology Services or ITES because there are no provisions allowing them to register in accordance with the law. on companies, the law on business licenses or the law on income tax.

He also said that the data available revealed that nearly a third of e-commerce companies had suspended their activities without any announcements.

“The issue (of fraudulent activity) is coming back to the fore following the recent arrest of Evaly CEO Russell and his wife,” Kiron said.

With the aim of establishing discipline in the e-commerce sector, the DfD presented a set of recommendations, for example, the introduction of a new law, the formation of a commission to review the current state and the taking timely action.

He also called on the government to take the necessary measures to compensate customers who have been trapped by operators.

The DfD also urged the Bangladesh Electronic Commerce Association (e-CAB) not to allow deceptive companies and their kingpins in the trade body.

During a debating competition earlier today, a team from BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology came out victorious by beating Eastern University.

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