E-Commerce Policy of Bangladesh 2018
No foreign company can do business in the e-commerce sector of Bangladesh without joint investment with the domestic company. And mobile operators will have to do business in this sector, regardless of net neutrality.
These conditions are in the final draft of e-commerce or digital commerce policy.
The draft has come for the overall development of the e-commerce sector including the Center of Excellence, the formation of Advisory Council on public-private delegates, code of conduct for consumers.
On March 19, the telecom and IT minister Mustafa Jabber saw the proof of the final draft of the Digital Commerce Policy on Monday. According to this information, the minister said in a Facebook status that if corrected, it will go on the road to approval.
State Minister for Information Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak took initiative to create the e-commerce policy. Under his guidance, the IT department, e-cab and BASIS jointly started working on creating this policy with the concerned sector.
E-CAB prepared initial draft and submitted it to the IT department. Then the second draft was made.
In the first month of taking the responsibility of Mustafa Jabbar as the Minister, the IT Department organized a day-long workshop with everyone related to the e-commerce sector. The third draft was made after this workshop and he named the new e-commerce policy titled as ‘Digital Commerce Policy-2018’.
Junaid Ahmed Polok told, “We have worked with the stakeholders of this sector with digital commerce policies so that Bangladesh can move forward in the right direction in the expanding e-commerce sector, and this new but essential form of trade can be adopted by the buyers and the general public.”
In the fastest time, the policy will be presented in the cabinet for approval, he said, by formulating the policy, we will be able to develop a suitable e-commerce sector in Bangladesh. In the country of 16 crore people, rich in socio-cultural diversity, a successful and follow-up e-commerce platform like Alibaba, Amazon will also be created in Bangladesh.
In the principal structure, the names, criteria, and definitions of the policy are explained in one of the two chapters. There are various definitions in the context of short title, application, and introduction. There is nothing contrary to the subject or context of the policy.
The second chapter contains the goal and objectives of the policy and the management of digital commerce. Digital Commerce Management System, Digital Commerce Consumer Protection Conservation and Accountability, Electronic Transaction and e-Payment, Risk Management and Security, Coordination of the activities of digital commerce companies, legal framework, law enforcement procedures, digital commerce promotion, and policies. The details of the review are available here.
In the planning, short, medium and long-term 60 duties have been fixed. The primary implementation agency and expected outcomes are divided into 14 subject related purposes, and the results of the policy are in Appendix-1.
The Policy Contains:
The policy proposals have said that the government has taken various initiatives to develop the infrastructure of information and communication technology, human resources development, the establishment of e-Governance and IT industry through the creation of Digital Bangladesh. Mobile technology plays a key role in this section. Currently, the country is already under 3G network and 4G networks that are already in operation. It is to be noted that by establishing Union Digital Center across the country, ICT has been involved in the expansion of e-commerce and mobile banking by the marginalized population under Network Connectivity. As a result, digital commerce will play an important role in creating the favorable environment in the country, creating entrepreneurs and eradicating jobless people of rural areas by engaging in economic activities and creating jobs and the national production of the country.
A central cell will be constituted under the concerned ministry to implement the digital commerce policy. The list of these central cell digital commerce or e-commerce organizations related to the ministry or division will be published on the website.
To protect consumer rights in e-commerce and to ensure accountability, it has been said that digital commerce or e-commerce organizations will comply with the existing rules regarding the rights of the users, the product content presented for selling on the site will be well-qualified, appropriate to sell the products of the digital commerce company on the website. The details and conditions of this will be mentioned, depending on the merchandise of the goods sold or the terms of the reimbursement or replacement, the agreement will be displayed on the website and the agreement will be signed between the respective parties such as Marketplace, Entrepreneur, Delivery System, Permanent System etc.
For the payment security of the digital commerce, it has been asked to launch ‘Escrow service’ policy in the digital commerce policy. Among the various components of the payment, there are various payment methods, including pre-paid cards, virtual cards, wallet cards, agents or digital commerce sites, banking and mobile banking, prepaid cards and credit cards, along with the National Permanent Switch, Referral Time Fund Transfer will do.
Initiatives will be taken to adopt digital signatures for the purpose of expanding and coordinating the travel quotes and online transactions for expansion of inter-country online card-based transactions and legalization.
A Center of Excellence will be constituted for the overall development of e-commerce sector. Apart from this, it has been suggested in the policy to create an Advisory Council with public-private representatives to resolve existing problems by conducting research, information, and data in digital-related topics, identifying and analyzing the issues.
The Central Digital Commerce Cell of the concerned Ministry or Division will take the responsibility of identifying existing and emerging Risks in all the cyber crimes, internet banking, mobile banking etc., in the field of digital commerce, hacking, accounting, management, and supervision. If any crime is identified then it will be taken under the relevant law in the country.
In the policy, there is a reference to the preparation of a specific legal framework in the management of digital commerce business management, delivery of goods and financial transactions etc.
Although the existing rules and regulations of foreign investment in this sector are being discussed, Foreign Digital Commerce Industry can not conduct business independently without joint investment with any domestic industry. Regarding joint investment, the principle of giving priority to the interests of the local digital commerce industry is mentioned in the policy.
In addition to these issues, guidelines have been given in various subjects of digital commerce.
E-cab and BASIS E-Commerce Alliance:
E-Cab General Secretary Abdul Waheed Tamal told that the conditions for joint investment in foreign companies have been given to create a platform for protection and growing domestic entrepreneurs.
He said that the operators of the mobile phone network have given free internet charges to their own e-commerce site or reduced bandwidth in other e-commerce routes – such uneven market conditions are not created so they have to do business with their net neutrality.
Tamal also said that in the last one and half year, the initial draft was given in the IT department after more than 30 meetings with e-commerce policy in the initiative of e-cab.
BASIS E-Commerce Alliance’s BASIS Director Mostafizur Rahman Sohel told that E-CAB and BASIS have worked together for a long time after state minister for information technology Junaid Ahmed Palak asked to start working on this policy. Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar was directly involved with it when he was the president of BAS,
He said that the meeting was held with all concerned stakeholders including the Bangladesh Bank representative. All the observations of the members are noted. Yes, there will be new challenges in the implementation, but they have the opportunity to get involved. So far this policy can be called as great.
Referring to a lot of smoke due to lack of policy, Sohel said that proper benefits are not being given from the sector. Besides, the logistics have suffered due to various difficulties including traffic police problem. After the announcement of the policy, it will be a quick implementation.