E-commerce policy to be finalised soon: Govt

The task force, in its report submitted to the government, has suggested that data generated by users in India from various sources, including e-commerce platforms, social media and search engines, should be stored exclusively in India.

The new e-commerce policy will be finalised soon, a top government official has said. 
 
“We don’t want to continue with the vacuum in the e-commerce policy space,” said Anup Wadhawan, Special Secretary in the Department of Commerce, adding, “The task force has given its recommendations. The government will continue to hold discussions based on it.”
 
The official said the Centre will have a nuanced approach on data localisation so that there is free flow of business, addressing security concerns.
 
As per him, the policy will seek to define e-commerce, strengthen foreign direct investment laws in the sector, address regulatory and competition issues, and take care of consumer interests, including data protection and privacy.
 
The task force, in its report, has suggested that data generated by users in India from various sources, including e-commerce platforms, social media and search engines, should be stored exclusively in India.
 
The report called for the creation of suitable framework to enable seamless data sharing within the country.
 
Wadhawan said the new policy would have adequate provisions to protect the interests of consumers and the State government’s requirements would be kept in mind. “Like many other countries, we will consider an online grievance redressal mechanism. Of course we will keep in mind division of power between the Centre and States,” he said.
 
An e-commerce think-tank led by Prabhu will now examine various aspects of the recommendations and hold further consultations before it finalises the draft.
 
India’s e-commerce market, currently valued at about $ 27 billion, is one of the fastest growing in the world.
 
The task force includes officials from the ministries of commerce, finance, home affairs, corporate affairs and electronics & information technology, besides representatives from telecom, IT and e-commerce companies Bharti Enterprises, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Ola, Snapdeal, Makemytrip, Urban Clap, Justdial, PepperFry and Practo. 
 
Source: Businessline, media reports

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