April 2018: Union minister for commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu convened the first ecommerce think tank meeting and promised to finalise the framework in six months
July 2018: Ecommerce think tank is ready with the draft policy to share with the public
Even as Indian ecommerce continues to witness intensified sales battles, acquisitions, protests, legal troubles, etc, the think tank working on the framework for a national policy on ecommerce is finally ready to submit its draft ecommerce policy today (July 30). Contrast this with the one year wait time for the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, which was tabled by the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee on Friday (July 27).
The ecommerce policy draft aims to ensure a level playing field for local businesses in digital trade in India, where deep-pocketed foreign companies are investing and contesting aggressively.
Inc42 had earlier reported that some of the aspects of the industry that will be covered in the ecommerce framework are:
- Physical and digital infrastructure
- Regulatory regime
- Taxation policy
- Data flow
- Server localisation
- Intellectual property rights protection
Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu is set to chair a meeting of the think tank on Monday (July 30). The task force, which is working on a comprehensive policy on various aspects of digital trade, is led by Prabhu and comprises industry and government representatives.
It includes officials from the ministries of finance, home affairs, corporate affairs, and electronics and information technology. Representatives from telecom, IT, and ecommerce companies such as Bharti Enterprises, Reliance Jio, TCS, Wipro, Ola, Snapdeal, MakeMyTrip, UrbanClap, Justdial, PepperFry, and Practo are also part of the think tank.
The government is likely to make public the draft ecommerce policy after the meeting.