The Indian ecommerce think tank, headed by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, held its first meeting yesterday with an agenda to speed upon the process of framing a domestic ecommerce policy. As per reports, the Minister may finalise the framework around ecommerce policy in the next six months.
The framework will deal around ecommerce sector issues like physical and digital infrastructure, regulatory regime, taxation policy, data flows, server localisation, intellectual property rights protection, FDI, amongst others.
A task force will also be set up “which will go into the details of the inputs received from the stakeholders,” said commerce secretary Rita Teaotia in a media statement.
Around 50 stakeholders from Competition Commission of India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Reserve Bank of India and secretaries from key departments as well as industry players attended the meeting. This includes India Internet leaders like Paytm, Ola, Flipkart as well as representatives from Bharti Enterprises, Reliance Jio, TCS, Wipro, MakeMyTrip, UrbanClap, Justdial, Pepperfry and Practo.
The efforts from the government end came at a time when the Indian ecommerce sector majors are fighting against reclassification of discounts as capital expenditure as well as are being accused of FDI violations by retailers group.
In past, Flipkart, Ola and other consumer internet majors also formed a lobby group to get government support in order to have an edge over the foreign rivals like Amazon and Uber. However, the group was not able to achieve much. Earlier this month Inc42 also reported that lobby group CEO Gyanendra Badgaiyan resigned from the company, over difference in opinions and directions for the organisation.
Interestingly, the government has become active on framing national ecommerce policy at times when global retailer Walmart is knocking India doors with the intention of gobbling up homegrown unicorn Flipkart for $20 Bn valuation.
Another media report also reveals that global internet companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Uber amongst others and the offline group of retailers are also looking to put their say in the draft for National Ecommerce Policy. They are thus being given a time frame of two months to prepare a report on various aspects of commerce industry.
Certainly, many of the local ecommerce retailers will be counting on the National Ecommerce Policy to ease out their way amidst increasing competition with deep-pocketed players in the country.
[The development was reported by LiveMint]