Mahfuja Mukul:After the multiple scams by the so called MLM companies including Jubok, Unipay2u, Distiny-2000, SPC, A1 Health Care Limited, Lifeway Bangladesh (Pvt) Limited andNovera Products, the cheating e-commerce companies so far have sucked at least Tk 10,000 crore from the common people either giving them lucrative interest or providing them different products at the cheaper price.
The regulatory lackingsare blamed for all of the scandals. The government never tries to control the cleaver cheating companies ahead of the scam. Now, the government is blaming each-other for the liability.
Yesterday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal blames Commerce Ministry for recent scams of evaly, Eorange and some other e-commerce platforms. At the same time Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi yesterday said that the government is mulling how logical are the recommendations to reopen shut e-commerce companies again to minimise the losses of customers but he doesn’t agree to take the liability of thousands of customers money.
Liability goes to Commerce Ministry
The commerce ministry has to take the responsibility for the frauds committed by e-commerce platforms as these companies were approved by them, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
At the same time, the government also can’t escape its obligations regarding such matters, he said, while attending a meeting of the Cabinet committee yesterday.
“E-commerce platforms have to take approval from the Commerce Ministry before establishing any company so the Commerce Ministry has to take the responsibly on primary level.”, he said.
Earlier, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi requested people to control their urge of buying products at low prices from e-commerce platforms to prevent fraudulent incidents like those by Evaly and Eorange. Evaly received advance payments by luring people with heavy discounts on products on its site and promising delivery within 7-45 days. Many buyers, however, are yet to receive the items they ordered.
The Rapid Action Battalion recently arrested the CEO and chairman of Evaly following a case filed by a customer on allegation of money embezzlement. Later, two more cases were filed against the couple.
Besides, another e-commerce platform, Eorange, followed the same business model. They were not delivering products to customers or not returning the money paid against the orders over the past few weeks. Top officials of the controversial online merchants are already in jail.
Govt to reopen shut e-commerce sites: Tipu Munshi
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said the government is mulling how logical are the recommendations to reopen shut e-commerce companies again to minimise the losses of customers.
The minister made the remark while replying to questions from journalists at a press conference in the capital yesterday.
“Many customers incurred losses due to the closure of some e-commerce companies. Now, many are saying that if the closed companies are allowed to continue their business under strict observation of the government, they could have covered some of the losses. We are thinking about how logical these suggestions are,” Tipu Munshi said.
Responding to a question about what will be the fate of the customers as the owners of Evaly and e-Orange are now in jail, he said, “There is no point in putting someone in jail. It will not be of any use. So, the ministry is trying to see if something can be done.”
The minister mentioned that there are around 30,000 e-commerce companies in the country and among them only 8-10 e-commerce companies are doing controversial business.
“The whole sector cannot be harmed for these 8-10 companies… Customers have learned a good lesson and there is a new law. Advance payments will be disbursed only after the products are delivered,” he added.
He said the government is working on all the issues, including Jubok and Destiny.
Customers have to be aware that they are not be tempted to buy a product at Tk1 when it is worth Tk2, he said.
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