18 June 2019
New Delhi: Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has assured Indian e-commerce players that their concerns regarding the draft e-commerce policy will be addressed and also asked them to send their concerns to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in the next 10 days.
In a meeting with the Commerce Minister, the e-commerce players told the minister that they felt the draft policy was not "adequately consultative", an official statement said.
The commerce ministry is currently in the process of finalising the national e-commerce policy and multinational firms have also raised concerns over certain provisions of the draft policy.
The e-commerce players said clarification is required in several aspects of the policy, including processing, timelines and review norms.
The draft policy proposes to set up a legal and technological framework for restrictions on cross-border data flow and also laid out conditions for businesses regarding collection or processing of sensitive data locally and storing it abroad, which is a cause for concern among several players in the market.
Industry representatives also informed the minister that the consultations for the Personal Data Protection Bill by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) were satisfactory but a lot of time had elapsed and the industry was not sure about the final shape of the bill.
Ajay Prakash Sawhney, MeitY Secretary, assured the e-commerce companies that the bill will reflect all the consultations that had taken place with the industry during the formulation of the bill.
The industry players requested the minister to ensure that the bill will have more clarity around classification of data and the manner of cross border flow of data.
The minister assured that MeitY will address the concerns.
Apart from major e-commerce and tech companies, the meeting was attended by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, senior officers from Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Commerce and DPIIT.
India's Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation, J.S. Deepak, and President and CEO of Mastercard, Ajaypal Singh Banga also participated in the discussions via direct video link, the statement said.