New Delhi: The government on Tuesday decided to set up a task force to finalise the contours of a policy on the fast growing e-commerce sector to boost growth and also to keep consumer interests in mind, a top official said here.
The decision was taken at the first meeting of the think-tank on framework for national policy on e-commerce.
The think-tank “will seek to deliberate on challenges confronting India in the arena of digital economy” with a view to develop a comprehensive national policy on e-commerce, commerce secretary Rita Teaotia said.
Among various issues, the meeting discussed aspects of e-commerce, digital economy, physical and digital infrastructure, regulatory regime, taxation policy, data flows, server localisation, intellectual property rights protection, FDI and trade-related aspects.
She said, “The objective is to come out with a framework for an e-commerce policy and it was decided to set up a task force and sub-groups to deliberate upon all the issues in detail. “The task force will come out with a set of recommendations, which would be brought before the think-tank in 5 months. The think-tank will give its report in 6 months,” Teaotia said.
The policy, she said would help India in articulating its stand on e-commerce at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Several developed economies, including the US, are keen on an agreement in WTO on e-commerce.
India is participating in the ongoing technical negotiations on issues in WTO, but the subject is not on the formal negotiating table as the sector is at nascent stage in the country and developing countries want time to prepare themselves.
Trai chairman RS Sharma, who participated in the deliberation, said: “We need to have a policy, which ensures privacy and ownership, security of data.” He said with new taxation system and digital transactions increasing, there is a need to have proper data policy.
“For e-commerce, digital infrastructure to flourish in India, we need to have robust connectivity infrastructure. Fortunately, we have large telecom players and 1.2 billion connections and 400 million internet users, huge amount of data flow taking place,” the trai chief said....