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Cabinet on July 10 passed the Digital Commerce Policy-2018 with a view to create sustainable e-commerce sector in the country.

Experts concerned said the Policy will help to enforce law and order in this sector. With the passed digital commerce policy in hand, customer-client relationship will certainly increase. Besides, this policy highlights access to finance to small & medium e-commerce enterprises of our country, they said.

“It focuses on to expand e-commerce sector in rural level as well,” said Syed Almas Kabir, Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).

Kabir said Digital Commerce Policy-2018 will help public, private stakeholders to understand the industry better and will help government to understand the whole ecosystem. “Hence proper initiatives can be taken for the growth of the industry,” he added.

A praiseworthy initiative

Preparing the policy and passing it in the cabinet, ICT division has played a tremendous role. BASIS has been working relentlessly on preparing the policy. Especially BASIS Digital Commerce Standing Committee’s Director Didarul Alam and BASIS E-Commerce Alliance’s Convener Mostafizur Rahman has added important observations in this policy.

In other developed countries, E-commerce sector is playing a huge role in the countries growth. Many multinational e-commerce companies have started their operation in Indian Subcontinent. If this policy can be taken into action, our e-commerce sector will be in the next level, experts said.

BASIS Director Didarul Alam said the policy will ensure e-commerce sectors growth. BASIS is working on this sectors growth for a long time, this policy will surely boosts our spirit to do more for e-commerce sector.

The e-commerce policy, which contains a provision that will allow foreign companies to invest and operate e-commerce businesses in the country in collaboration with local firms, is almost ready, said Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar.

The policy will work effectively to protect the rights of consumers,” Mustafa Jabbar said.

How the Policy will work?

A central cell will be formed under the ministry to implement the e-commerce policy, which will publish a list of e-commerce companies on its website, according to Jabbar.

This cell will take all necessary measures to identify different challenges like piracy and hacking. The cell will take steps to control fraudulence and all kinds of cyber crime.

According to the draft, if any kind of e-commerce-related crime is identified, measures will be taken under the traditional law of the country.

What the e-commerce association says?

“Today, over 715 firms are members of e-CAB, which delivered 30,000 products in 2017 and transacted Tk. 1,800 crore. In addition, there are 1,000 e-commerce-based sites and 10,000 Facebook pages that run online-based businesses.” said Razib ahmed, former president e-CAB.

The government took steps in 2016 to design a separate policy for e-ecommerce to help the sector flourish as well as to curb fraudulence. E-CAB prepared the draft of the policy, as instructed by the ICT Division, and handed it over to the division in August 2016. Later, e-CAB formulated the third draft of the policy in 2018.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, said the e-commerce market is growing quickly all around the world and proper regulation is required to propel further growth. “We are working with all the stakeholders in the sector to make it flourish,” he added.

Furthermore, Abdul Wahed Tomal, general secretary of e-CAB, said that in order to protect local entrepreneurs and make their businesses flourish, the policy recommended to them to go in for joint ventures with foreign companies.

Though the e-commerce industry in Bangladesh experienced slow growth during its inception, it has witnessed a major rise in popularity in the last five years. E-commerce has become a billion-dollar industry today and has created jobs for thousands.

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