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Open network for digital commerce gets a major push

The Centre has appointed nodal officers in all the states with a view to encouraging startups, MSMEs, and retailers onboard the government’s initiative open network for digital commerce (ONDC), an official said on Thursday.

ONDC is an initiative of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which aims to build an open, interoperable network on which buyers and sellers can transact without needing to be present on the same platform.

It is neither an application, nor platform, intermediary or software but a set of specifications/provisions designed to promote open, unbundled, and interoperable open networks.

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.

The official said that the nodal officers in every state would drive dedicated and customised programs for startups, MSMEs, retailers and state bodies to take advantage of the network.

The appointments were conducted in collaboration with all state governments.

Joint Secretary in the DPIIT Sanjiv said that the officers will help spread awareness, empower the local e-commerce ecosystem and onboard local businesses onto the network.

State governments can also integrate existing state portals or systems with the ONDC.

DPIIT is also organising a nodal officers’ workshop here to bring all stakeholders together to drive the initiative in mission mode.

“We are excited to have all the states’ nodal officers onboard in our mission. This is a stepping stone toward driving population-scale digital transformation in governance and delivering benefits to every citizen of India, suited and customized to each state’s needs and priorities.

“We look forward to working closely with our colleagues across the states towards maximising the unprecedented benefits unlocked through ONDC,” he said.

T Koshy, MD & CEO of ONDC said the move would help democratize digital commerce in India.

Incorporated in December 2021, ONDC is a Section 8 company.

Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Rajesh Kumar Singh has earlier stated that the idea of the network is to democratise the e-commerce for MSMEs and smaller producers in the remote parts of the country and provide them level playing field. PTI

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