NEW DELHI: In a move to standardise the process of onboarding retailers on e-marketplaces, and supply and delivery of products through online channels, India will soon set protocols for digital commerce.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) plans to develop an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to set protocols for cataloguing, vendor discovery and price discovery. An 11-member committee comprising officials from various ministries and industry representatives has been set up and a pilot project will start next month, officials said.

“Since each marketplace has its own protocols for various activities involved in online retail, we will set protocols and standards to onboard retailers on online marketplaces and the entire process of supply to delivery,” said an official aware of the development.

As per the official, these will be open standards and the effort is to create protocols for digital ecommerce such as cataloguing, vendor discovery and price discovery.

“This is a new initiative. The protocol for digital commerce would be similar to what UPI is for online payments and https protocol is for secure communication over the internet,” said another official.

The government has setup a committee and the Quality Council of India will begin a pilot project next month. The committee- to be chaired by a senior DPIIT official- will have officials from the ministries of electronics and IT, MSME, Niti Aayog, Government e-Marketplace, National Payments Corporation of India and National Securities Depository Limited as its members. Representatives of the Confederation of All India Traders as well as Retailers Association of India too are members of the committee.

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