Centre to soon finalise draft e-commerce policy

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 27, 2018
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Those who argue in favour of a regulator point to alleged flouting of rules by existing players

The Centre will soon finalise its draft on a proposed national e-commerce policy that will focus on increasing exports through online platforms and streamlining operations, a government official has said.

The draft will also include the government’s view on whether there should be a regulator for the sector.

“We have been getting arguments both in favour and against a regulator for the e-commerce sector. We will have to weigh the situation and our views will get reflected in the draft e-commerce policy to be circulated in a few weeks,” a senior official from the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) said on Thursday.

The official said that while e-commerce operations were taking place smoothly in the country, the need for a policy existed as it would give an idea to all stakeholders about the priorities of the government and where it was heading towards.

Those who argue in favour of a regulator point to alleged flouting of rules by existing players, including multinationals, while those against it say that it is not the government’s job to regulate and existing regulations were enough to take care of the situation, the official added.

At present, e-commerce activities are governed by laws and regulations such as the Information Technology Act, Competition Act, Companies Act and Consumer Protection Act. E-commerce companies with foreign direct investment are also governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

An earlier attempt by the Commerce Ministry to frame an e-commerce policy was aborted after it led to protests from many segments of the industry, including both domestic and foreign players.

Published on December 27, 2018

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