Digital Commerce Operation Guidelines 2021 by the Commerce Ministry, scheduled to be issued as a circular next month, is set to change how digital commerce companies, both large ecommerce companies, and much smaller f-commerce shops, operate in the country.
The policy currently is in the draft. The commerce ministry is set to hold a meeting with stakeholders on 21 March for further discussions and collect feedback on the draft policy. Necessary changes will be made before issuance based on additional feedback received at the meeting.
Some of the proposed changes are:
What industry insiders have to say: Naturally, industry insiders oppose imposing stringent regulatory burdens on the nascent sector. Many have voiced the concern that too early regulatory pressure could stifle growth and cause more harm than good. Others said obtaining trade licenses and similar regulatory permissions are too time-consuming and difficult for solo entrepreneurs who run small f-commerce operations forcing many to shut down their small business.
The bottom line: On a broader level, tech is increasingly becoming a regulated industry across markets. It means we will see more regulations pertaining to technology companies.
Digital Commerce Operation Guidelines 2021 is, however, not so much about tech regulation than establishing some ground rules for the ecommerce industry in Bangladesh. While the sector has grown meaningfully over the past years and apparently is in need of some regulatory intervention to protect consumer rights and ensure the long-term growth of the sector, regulation is always a tricky and balancing act — regulating without hampering the growth.