Soon e-commerce entities may face heavy penalty for posting fake reviews of products, as the government is finalising guidelines to curb such practices.
According to highly-placed sources, a committee formed by the Department of Consumer Affairs is finalising changes in the norms related to fake reviews, which were formulated by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in 2021.
Once the changes are made in these norms, they would become mandatory and entail penalty on e-commerce firms for posting fake reviews and also for getting fake reviews done of rival entities.
Several e-commerce companies get negative reviews done against each other.
The BIS norms on fake reviews, as of now, are voluntary in nature.
According to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, penalty on e-commerce entities for posting fake reviews of products and giving inflated ratings would be imposed, and the penalty amount could range from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Apart from this, the Department of Consumer Affairs may also take suo moto cognizance of errant e-commerce entities, sources said.
The committee is expected to suggest changes in the BIS norms on fake reviews within a week, sources said. The panel held a meeting on the matter on Wednesday, where top officials of the department as well as several stakeholders were present.