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Bangladesh launches drive to ‘clean up’ e-commerce hit by scams

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-10-13 19:36:10 BdST

Representational Image. Reuters

The government has formed a high-powered committee to conduct a “clean-up operation” for Bangladesh’s e-commerce sector hit by scams. 

The 15-member panel, formed by the Cabinet Division on Tuesday, has one month to file a report, a commerce ministry official said on Wednesday.

The committee will recommend steps to discipline the digital commerce platforms and protect the rights of the customers who lost money to the unethical business practice of e-commerce companies.

It will collect information on financial transactions and assets of the troubled firms to find a way to recover the embezzled funds.

The committee will ensure communication between the relevant government ministries and agencies. It will also ensure that the companies get registration and licence, and pay taxes and VAT.

The new committee has representatives from the Cabinet Division, ICT Division, Financial Institutions Division, Bangladesh Bank, Police Headquarters, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, National Security Intelligence, police’s Special Branch and Criminal Investigation Department, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, National Board of Revenue, National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre, Consumers Association of Bangladesh and the commerce ministry.

A multi-party committee, formed by the commerce ministry, is also working to establish rules in e-commerce business. Some ministers had initially suggested passing new law and forming a regulator for the e-commerce sector, but the commerce ministry has stepped away from the initiatives.

AHM Shafiquzzaman, additional secretary of the ministry, said they will consider if it is possible to fill in the gap in regulations of e-commerce firms by reforming the existing law and strengthening the relevant government agencies.