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Commerce Ministry informs that ONDC will help grow small businesses in the e-commerce ecosystem


The commerce ministry had constituted a nine-member team last month to help the e-commerce ecosystem get accustomed to the new rules. Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an initiative aiming at promoting open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is expected to make e-commerce more inclusive and accessible for consumers allowing consumers to discover any seller, product or service by using any compatible application or platform, thus increasing freedom of choice for consumers, the commerce ministry informed the Parliament during a recent session.

The commerce ministry outlining the functions and scope for ONDC mentioned that the foundations of ONDC are to be open protocols for all aspects in the entire chain of activities in exchange of goods and services, similar to hypertext transfer protocol for information exchange over internet, simple mail transfer protocol for exchange of emails and unified payments interface for payments.

These open protocols would be used for establishing public digital infrastructure in the form of open registries and open network gateways to enable exchange of information between providers and consumers. Providers and consumers would be able to use any compatible application of their choice for exchange of information and carrying out transactions over ONDC.

ONDC goes beyond the current platform-centric digital commerce model where the buyer and seller have to use the same platform or application to be digitally visible and do a business transaction. Thus, small businesses would be able to use any ONDC compatible applications instead of being governed by specific platform centric policies.

This will provide multiple options to small businesses to be discoverable over network and conduct business. It would also encourage easy adoption of digital means by those currently not on digital commerce networks, the ministry further added.