Can e-commerce be rescued? High-level meet today22 September 2021
Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
The Ministry of Commerce has convened a high-level meeting to discuss the 'unexpected situation' arising from the country's e-commerce business and its way forward.
The meeting will be held at 3.00 pm today at the conference room of the Ministry.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud will attend the meeting.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Fazle Kabir, Senior Secretary of ICT Division N M Zeaul Alam, Senior Secretary of Home Ministry Mostafa Kamal Uddin and Inspector General of Police Dr. Benazir Ahmed will also take part in the meeting.
"The meeting will discuss the sudden development of the country's e-commerce sector and find a way to save digital-commerce business from fraud committed by the errant companies." Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh told The New Nation yesterday.
He said the meeting would also try to find out measures for consumers protection and discuss actions against the delinquent e-commerce platforms like Evaly, Dhamaka and e-orange. "Wednesday's meeting may produce some crucial decisions in this regard."
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Evaly's managing director Md Rassel and his wife, chairman of the platform, Shamima Nasrin on charge of fraud and embezzlement on Thursday last (September 16). They were arrested from their residence after a victim customer lodged a case against them with Gulshan Police Station in the capital.
Since its inception in 2018, Evaly has fraudulently collected Tk 5.43 billion to its suppliers and customers.
Not only Evaly, allegations have been raised against many other digital market places, which have cheated thousands of customers after alluring them with lucrative offers for purchasing goods.
The e-commerce business came under scrutiny after the Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Bank opened a probe into errant e-commerce firms and found a significant amount of embezzlement.
When asked, Tapan Kanti Ghosh said, "We will consider the customers interest first and then necessary actions will be taken against the errant e-commerce platforms as per the country's existing laws."
Regarding Evaly scam, the Commerce Secretary said cases have been filed against the e-commerce platform that failed to deliver products or refund the money within the given time.
"Now it is a subjudice matter. To mitigate the losses of consumers, we will act in line with the court decision," he added. Tapan further said, "We are thinking to draft a new law for the e-commerce companies to ensure their operational transparency and punishment in case of fraud.