India ready to engage with other nations on data, FDI, e-commerce on reciprocal basis: Piyush Goyal

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2019 Published on June 25, 2019

Piyush Goyal Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Railways

E-commerce policy will be ready within a year, says Minister


India wants to engage with other countries on data, e-commerce and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but there has to be reciprocity, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has indicated in a meeting with e-commerce players.

Goyal also said that the e-commerce policy, which the government has been working on for some time, will be ready within a year and his Ministry was building the institutional framework for it, an official told BusinessLine.

The meeting, attended by both Indian and foreign e-commerce companies including Amazon, Flipkart, Urbanclap, Make My Trip, Medicabazaar, Yatra, Shopclues, Snapdeal, Grofers, Swiggy and Udaan, on Monday, discussed ways to bring about convergence of interests of e-Commerce platforms and small retailers.

“In the meeting the Minister emphasised that India was open to discussing issues related to data, e-commerce and FDI with other countries but whatever it would offer in the area would be on a reciprocal basis,” the official said.

India's willingness to show flexibility on e-commerce and data issues is important especially with major trade partners including the US and the EU pushing for it. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who will be in New Delhi this week, is also expected to raise the issue of data localisation and e-commerce rules.

On the e-commerce policy, the Minister assured that enough time will be given to all stakeholders to adapt to any changes that may be required. Moreover, all changes will be prospective and nothing will be implemented with retrospective effect.

Goyal asked the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to immediately form a committee headed by Additional Secretary in DPIIT, with representatives of Department of Commerce, Ministries of MSME, Consumers Affairs and legal experts as members. The committee will hear grievances and provide necessary clarifications on any issues related to e-commerce.

On provisions of the Press Note 2, which has been criticised by several big players including Amazon and Flipkart, Goyal said that it was merely clarificatory and no changes should be expected on these.

The clarifications were announced specifically to plug loopholes in the policy that were being exploited by some FDI-funded marketplace players.

Goyal also said that the Ministry will look at ways of facilitating sale of India’s handicraft and handlooms through e-commerce platforms.

Ministers of State Hardeep Singh Puri and Som Parkash, India’s Ambassador to the WTO J S Deepak, Secretary DPIIT Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary Department of Commerce, Anup Wadhawan and senior officers of both departments also attended the meeting.

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Published on June 25, 2019
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