The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a unified payments interface-type protocol, will help small retailers survive the onslaught of large tech-based e-commerce companies, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
ONDC is an initiative of the ministry to help small retailers expand their business and reduce the dominance of e-commerce giants. It aims to build an open, interoperable network on which buyers and sellers can transact without needing to be present on the same platform.
It offers small retailers an opportunity to provide their services, and goods to buyers across the country through an e-commerce system, where buyers will be able to purchase the products, which are sold on any platform. "ONDC will help our small retail survive the onslaught of large tech-based e-commerce companies," Goyal said here at an event on the retail sector.
He said that the effort is to encourage small companies, and startups to integrate into the e-commerce ecosystem. "Like UPI democratised payment systems, ONDC will democratise benefits of e-commerce," he added. He also said that the consumer industry in India, and FMCGs have been victims of indiscriminate low-quality imports because of which people have suffered.
Without naming China, he said India's imports from one geography led to a significant increase in trade deficit between 2004-14 and broke the back of Indian manufacturing. "When we are doing our free trade negotiations, the focus is on opportunities that India offers," Goyal said adding the government has focused over the last few years to bring back manufacturing into India again.
He added that the government have been able to stem the fall of manufacturing, and now "we have to work to take it to greater heights". Consumers will be equally responsible for making this happen, he said. On promoting the manufacturing of high-quality goods, he said the government is working to introduce quality standards in a big way to to domestic manufacturing stand against the irrational competition, increase scale of production and become more competitive.
"Each consumer must commit to good quality, sustainable, indigenous products. Must promote message of respect for Indian products and opportunities that consumers offer," he said.