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Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce companies to soon have ‘country of origin’ label

Made in China will be written on the website and app for Chinese products

The Indian government made it mandatory for sellers on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal to clarify the ‘country of origin’ of their products which they will be selling in future. Sources say that DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade had a similar proposal in their mind for the e-commerce companies in India. They met with the private e-commerce companies via videoconferencing and asked them to label the ‘country of origin’ label on their products.

Companies like Flipkart, Amazon and other major players in the e-commerce business in India are considering the option and may ask their sellers to label their products. The move is regarded as a way to single out the Chinese products as anti-Chinese sentiments in the country is at an all-time high due to the deadly brawl at the Galwan valley.

Read more: Identifying Russia’s role amid India- China escalating tensions

Things are not clear though!

However, it is not clear when the labelling of products will start appearing on the websites and apps of the respective e-commerce companies as they have asked for time to incorporate the new requirement into their technology. Also, the term ‘country of origin’ is a vague term which doesn’t specify if the products assembled in India with their raw materials and components sourced from other countries should be labelled under which country’s name.

The decision comes in the backdrop of NDA government’s push for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, which promotes self-reliance by boosting locally produced goods.

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India imported 14 per cent of its total import from China in the year 2019-20

From April 2019 to February 2020, India imported goods worth $62.38 billion which was 14 per cent of the total import in India for that duration. In the financial year 2018-19, this was $70.32 billion. The decrease in trade is mostly credited to the anti-china sentiments and the COVID-19 fiasco.

There are various electronic products and other products available on e-commerce websites but not many people while buying the product are aware of the origin of that particular product. The new move will enable them to know if they are buying the Chinese product or not.

This demand came from a traders body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which reportedly also asked top industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and others to support the campaign to shun Chinese products.

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