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National e-commerce policy nears completion: Stakeholders reach consensus

The national e-commerce policy, a crucial blueprint for the future of India’s burgeoning digital commerce sector, is nearing its completion, according to a high-ranking government official. A consensus has emerged among key stakeholders on the policy, which is currently in its final stages. The Commerce and Industry Ministry organised a detailed discussion on August 2, […]

The national e-commerce policy, a crucial blueprint for the future of India’s burgeoning digital commerce sector, is nearing its completion, according to a high-ranking government official. A consensus has emerged among key stakeholders on the policy, which is currently in its final stages.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry organised a detailed discussion on August 2, engaging representatives from e-commerce companies and the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a domestic trade body. The dialogue explored various sector-related issues, including policy formation.
“A broad level of consensus has been reached across all stakeholders. The policy and its rules are now in their final stages and are expected to complement each other,” the government official reported, promising further updates in the upcoming weeks.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, who attended the meeting, shared that the government is likely to roll out the national e-commerce policy in the forthcoming months. “All stakeholders reached unanimity on the basic pillars of the e-commerce policy and its rules,” Khandelwal affirmed.
Senior officials from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Consumer Affairs Ministry were also present at this pivotal meeting.
The policy’s primary goal is to foster a harmonious and inclusive growth of the e-commerce sector, offering a conducive business environment, streamlining the regulatory framework, and promoting the adoption of modern technologies and supply chain integration. It also aims to boost exports via the e-commerce medium and provide an overarching framework vis-a-vis e-commerce rules.
The meeting also tackled the recurring allegations made by CAIT about foreign online retailers violating FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) norms in commerce. The government allows FDI in the marketplace model of e-commerce but prohibits it in the inventory-based model.
The official highlighted the evolving regulatory framework for India’s digital/e-commerce sector, administered under the Information Technology Act, Consumer Protection Act, FDI policy on e-commerce, and Competition Act. In addition, the DPIIT is also drafting a national retail trade policy.
This move towards a comprehensive national e-commerce policy marks a significant step in India’s digital economic landscape, catering to the rapid growth and increased complexities of the online retail industry.

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