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Minister Piyush Goyal Assures National Policy For E-Commerce Sector Soon

The Commerce and Industry Minister also sought setting up a regulatory authority to monitor and regulate e-commerce trade in India

Minister Piyush Goyal Assures National Policy For E-Commerce Sector Soon
Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal

Press Trust Of India

POSTED ON August 03, 2023 9:36 AM

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday held a detailed discussion with representatives of e-commerce firms and domestic traders body CAIT on issues related to the sector and a national policy for the segment is expected to be announced by the government soon, an official said.

The official said that inputs have been taken from all the stakeholders on the subject.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, who attended the meeting, said it was indicated that the government would release the national e-commerce policy in the coming months.

He also said that all the stakeholders agreed to implement and follow the policy in letter and spirit.

"A unanimity was arrived at between all stakeholders about basic pillars of e-commerce policy and rules," Khandelwal said. He also sought to set up a regulatory authority to monitor and regulate e-commerce trade in the country.

Representatives from different companies, including Amazon, Flipkart, Tata CLiQ, Reliance Retail, Zomato, Swiggy and Meesho, participated in the deliberations, he said.

Senior officials from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Consumer Affairs Ministry were also present. This meeting assumes significance as the government is in the process of framing a national e-commerce policy and consumer protection rules for the sector.

In June, Secretary in DPIIT Rajesh Kumar Singh said that broadly, the intention is to make the policy work along with the consumer protection rules and not in conflict with each other.

The policy aims to prepare strategies for providing a conducive environment for inclusive and harmonious growth of the e-commerce sector through a streamlined regulatory framework for ease of doing business, adoption of modern technologies, integration of supply chains and enhancement of exports through this medium.

Further, the policy would act as an overarching framework as compared to the e-commerce rules.

CAIT has time and again alleged that foreign online retailers violate norms of the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in commerce and the government should take action against those who are indulging in malpractices.

The government permits FDI in the marketplace model of e-commerce and it is not allowed in the inventory-based model.

The onus of compliance with the provisions is on the infested company and any violation of FDI regulations is covered by the penal provisions of the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act).

While the RBI administers the Act, the Enforcement Directorate is the authority for the implementation of FEMA and takes up investigations in cases of contravention of the law.

Further, the regulatory framework for the digital/e-commerce sector is still evolving in the country. The Information Technology Act, Consumer Protection Act, FDI policy on the e-commerce sector, and Competition Act govern the sector.

The DPIIT is also working on a national retail trade policy.

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