Reports indicate that the impending national e-commerce policy, currently under development by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has reached its conclusive phase. No further revised policy drafts are anticipated for soliciting input from stakeholders.
On August 2, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had a detailed discussion with representatives of e-commerce firms and a domestic traders' body on the proposed policy.
In that meeting, a broad level of consensus emerged among the concerned stakeholders on the proposed policy.
"Now no draft policy will come. That exercise is over now. We are just getting a final sign-off,” an official said, adding there will be a presentation of the proposed policy at the top level of the government.
The official also mentioned that in terms of data localization, the e-commerce companies would have to follow the law of the land.
Earlier the ministry had issued two draft national e-commerce policies.
The draft of 2019 urged to address six broad areas of the e-commerce ecosystem - data, infrastructure development, e-commerce marketplaces, regulatory issues, stimulating the domestic digital economy, and export promotion through e-commerce.
The initial draft presented a structure for regulating cross-border data movement, handling sensitive data within national borders while storing it overseas, and implementing actions to curb the trade of counterfeit goods, restricted items, and illicit content. Additionally, it suggested reevaluating the prevailing approach of exempting electronic transmissions from customs duties, considering the evolving landscape of the digital economy.
It also suggested provisions for promoting exports through e-commerce and developing capacity for data storage in India.
The proposed e-commerce policy is designed with a comprehensive perspective that encompasses the interests and apprehensions of a wide array of stakeholders. This includes addressing the needs and expectations of investors, manufacturers, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), traders, retailers, startups, and the consumers who form the backbone of the industry.
Simultaneously, the government is actively engaged in crafting consumer protection regulations specifically tailored for the e-commerce sector. This reflects a dual approach aiming to ensure not only the growth and stability of the e-commerce ecosystem but also to safeguard the rights and interests of the consumers who engage with it.
The national e-commerce policy strives to formulate strategies that foster a favorable atmosphere for the comprehensive and balanced advancement of the e-commerce domain. This will be achieved through an efficient regulatory framework to facilitate business, embracing cutting-edge technologies, integrating supply chains, and augmenting exports via this platform.