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Government Briefs the Parliament on Draft National Policy on e-Commerce

New Delhi:

Port Wings News Network:

A draft National e-Commerce policy has been prepared and placed in public domain, which addresses six broad issues of the e-commerce ecosystem viz. e-commerce marketplaces; regulatory issues; infrastructure development; data; stimulating domestic digital economy and export promotion through e-commerce.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 26 July 2019, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal stated that the Department of Commerce initiated an exercise and established a Think Tank on ‘Framework for National Policy on e-Commerce’ and a Task Force under it to deliberate on the challenges confronting India in the arena of the digital economy and electronic commerce (e-commerce).

Some of the issues that were discussed by the think tank included aspects of e-commerce and the digital economy such as physical and digital infrastructure, the regulatory regime, taxation policy, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), technology flows, skill development and trade-related aspects. The first meeting of the Think Tank was held on 24th April, 2018 while the second meeting of the Think Tank was held on 30thJuly, 2018. The meetings saw participation by senior officers of various Ministries/ departments of the Government involved in different aspects of e-commerce, high level representatives from the industry bodies, e-commerce companies, telecommunication companies and IT companies, NGOs and independent experts.

The Think Tank was further divided into various sub-groups, comprising representation at the technical level from the Government, industry and experts with domain knowledge. In addition to the discussions in these meetings, several written inputs/ suggestions were received from stakeholders. The sub-group reports and these submissions further fed into the draft recommendations. These were then presented before the Think Tank in its meeting held on 30th July, 2018.

Gazette Notification dated 20th September, 2018 amended the Government of India Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 notifying that “Matters related to E-Commerce” are allocated to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (now Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT). Subsequently, the draft National e-Commerce Policy was prepared, and placed in public domain for seeking suggestions/ views.

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