The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, has been enacted to better protect the interests of the consumers. It covers all goods and services and all mode of transactions including e-commerce. Under the provision of said Act, a three tier quasi-judicial mechanism, called Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission/ Forum, has been set up at the district, State and National levels to provide simple, quick and inexpensive redressal to consumer disputes. E-commerce activities are governed by number of Regulations/Acts of the Government like the Shop and Establishment Act, Sales of Goods Act, Companies Act, Income Tax Laws, Information Technology Act, the Competition Act, the Consumer Protection Act, etc. A Committee has been constituted to examine various issues relating to e-commerce under the Chairmanship of CEO, NITI Aayog. The Committee inter-alia comprises representatives from Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Department of Consumer Affairs and certain State Governments namely Assam, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015, already introduced in Parliament, seeks to provide for establishment of a Central Consumer Protection Authority to look into, inter alia, unfair trade practices and take remedial action.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will boost the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), noted a recent joint study by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ashvin Parekh Advisory Services (APAS). It will bring many positives compared to the current systems such as easy process of availing input credit, single point tax, elimination of cascading tax system, and simpler taxation. There is no doubt that GST is aimed to increase the taxpayer base and would put some burden of compliance and associated costs to MSME. But eventually, it will turn these MSMEs more competitive with a level playing field between large enterprises and them.