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India may scrap E-commerce policy due to lack of Unanimity

The inter-ministerial group discussing the policy consisted of the Agriculture Ministry, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Electronics and IT Ministry and the Finance Ministry.

India may scrap its e-commerce policy after questions over its rationale were raised by “certain sections within the government” due to lack of unanimity.

The policy aims to provide the regulator guidelines on law enforcement, law and order, individual safety, security and taxation, and seeks disclosure on source code to monitor digital biases.

“The policy might get scrapped as there is no convergence on certain issues. The minister questioned the real rationale for the policy,” an official – who was part of the inter-ministerial meeting held on January 21 – told The Economic Times.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

“The proposed policy is not clear as to purpose and in its current form is more like a broad document detailing the state of play in the ecommerce sector,” the official added.

They said the inter-ministerial group consisted of the Agriculture Ministry, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Electronics and IT Ministry and the Finance Ministry.

“All ministries concerned and regulators were present in the meeting,” another official said. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was also a part of the group.

The consultation meeting was organised by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to discuss the draft policy, decide on a sector regulator and implement a new law seeking to limit data storage by e-commerce companies, the report said.

Various ministers discussed the reach and the role of the proposed regulator, and legislative overlaps related to policy specifications on consumer data storage, it added.

Talk of scrapping the policy comes as the European Union came out with its Digital Markets Act, which “can be a good starting point for India,” an expert told the paper. –Moneycontrol

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