Digital commerce policy awaits cabinet nod | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 13, 2018

Digital commerce policy awaits cabinet nod

The government plans to place the Digital Commerce Policy at the cabinet meeting next week as it strives to propel e-commerce and electronic payments.

“It has been a long-pending policy and will help e-commerce flourish,” Telecom and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar said yesterday.

He said once approved the policy will help the e-commerce industry take a major step forward and this segment of business will be more mature.

He spoke at the inauguration of Smartphone and Tab Expo at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

The policy will give customers a platform to lodge complaints about any service, draft document says.

The definition of e-commerce will be clearer and all associated confusions be removed, said people who were involved in the policy formulation process.

“The policy has been badly needed for the industry. Now, it will help establish a structure for this new kind of business,” said Syed Mohammad Kamal, one of the members of the policy formulation committee and country manager of MasterCard.

The draft policy called for introducing new payment tools such as prepaid cards.

Raising awareness will be a big part of the policy where the government and industries will work together to make customers familiar with shopping and making payments through digital channels. 

Muhammad Abdul Wahed Tomal, general secretary of the E-commerce Association of Bangladesh, said cross-border online trade has been addressed in the draft policy.

The policy will give protection to local investments, he said.

Jabbar also said the government will be tough against the internet service providers, including mobile phone operators, as they are not passing on to the end-users the benefit of the budgetary cut of value-added tax to 5 percent from 15 percent.

“If needed, we will impose fine on them and take punitive action so that the operators are compelled to give the benefit to the end-users,” he said.

All top smartphone brands in the country are taking part in the three-day exposition and are offering huge discounts.

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