Dhaka: The government is going to formulate a specific policy in this regard after allegations surfaced against some delivery service companies delivering food to the customers, withholding money from merchants, and taking high commissions. The Ministry of Commerce has also taken initiative in this regard as part of the ongoing initiative to discipline e-commerce companies.
Some food delivery companies are providing readymade food at home, corporate houses or any festival with online orders. Foodpanda, Shohoz Food, Pathao Food, E-Food, Hungrinaki, Food Peon, Ecuria BD, Healthy Kitchen, Food Mart, Hurricane are some of them.
But most of these companies do not have their own chefs or arrangements to supply quality readymade food according to the needs and tastes of the buyers.
As a result, delivery companies have to go to a fast-food shop of a popular brand or a quality restaurant to get the order of food demanded by the buyer online.
And this is where the various incidents of irregularities are occurring.
According to e-commerce stakeholders, the country now receives millions of daily orders through online food delivery platforms. The value of which is more than three and a half crore takas. The annual turnover of this sector is more than a thousand crore takas.
Online food delivery companies take ready-made food from contracted fast food shops or restaurants from time to time.
On the other hand, the delivery companies are getting the fixed price only after delivering the readymade food to the buyer or consumer. Besides, the delivery charge is also being collected in cash.
But they are taking one to two and a half months to pay the companies that provide the money. As a result, the owners of the catering restaurants are in crisis as they have not received payment by investing cash.
The arbitrariness of delivery companies is not limited to delays in payment of arrears.
They are also deducting high commissions while making payments. In this case, they are taking a minimum of 35 to 40 % from each price for commission. The amount of commission is even higher in some cases.
Although the companies are unhappy, they are not able to move away from the delivery company due to the increase in online reliance.
An official in charge of the Commerce Ministry told to media, “In fact, the kind of rules and regulations that we have in handling online food delivery companies have not been specified.”
‘The ministry wants to specify the maximum commission that the delivery companies can take through discussions with the concerned stakeholders, how many days the food supplier will receive the payment or how to deposit the cash on delivery money.'
‘This issue will be included in the gazette of e-commerce management guidelines as well as in the final draft of Digital Commerce Policy 2021.