As Internet penetration in India is on the rise, the ecommerce sector in the country is likely to witness a growth of over 50 percent in the next 5 years, says the Economic Survey. Also Read - TRAI's new chairman RS Sharma to take charge from August 10
The government document, however, raised concerns over consumer safeguards and proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection Act. “India’s ecommerce market is expected to grow by more than 50 percent in the next five years,” the Economic Survey 2014-15, tabled in Parliament today by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said. As per industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), as of October 2014 India had 278 million internet users. Also Read - Nokia set to roll out MTNL network expansion plan
On the hurdles being faced by the sector, the Economic Survey said: “Inventory management, logistics planning and resource availability are important hurdles for online retail in India.” It further said: “Consumer safeguard being another concern for consumers of eCommerce, the government proposes including sufficient provisions in the ongoing amendment to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set up a Task Force last year to give suggestions to drive up revenues of India Post in with various services including eCommerce. Also Read - DoT to take up special audit of telcos on call drops: Ravi Shankar Prasad
The Task Force, which submitted its report in January this year, recommended setting up a holding company under the Department of Posts to roll out of banking, insurance and e-commerce services by the world’s largest postal network. The task force added that rural India should be the main target area. India has a postal network of over 1,55,015 post offices of which (89.76 percent) are in the rural areas. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has on several occasions said India Post with its unparallelled rural, urban and semi-urban reach is best suited to offer delivery services to e-commerce players. According to consultancy firm PwC, the ecommerce sector has grown by 34 percent (CAGR) since 2009 to touch $16.4 billion in 2014 and is further expected to touch $22 billion in 2015.