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National E-commerce Policy under consideration: Piyush Goyal

The national e-commerce policy is under consideration but there is no timeline as to when it will be released, the government said on Wednesday.

The draft policy seeks to create a facilitative regulatory environment for growth of the e-commerce sector, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“A series of meetings have been held at the level of Secretary, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with different stakeholders, including major e-commerce companies, startups, industry associations, think-tanks, academicians, etc as well as data centre providers, logistics companies, export promotion councils to discuss the issues facing the sector and the provisions contained in the draft policy,” he said.

Since e-commerce is a new issue, it has necessitated detailed consultations over the last few months to ensure that the policy is crafted in a manner that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account. “Therefore, no timeline has been fixed for the release of the same,” he said.

Goyal also said the formulation of the new industrial policy is under consideration of the government. He said with regard to the new industrial policy, a Working Group has been constituted with representation from central ministries/departments, state governments, and industry associations.

The first meeting of the group was held on Oct. 24, 2019, and an inter-ministerial consultation is going on for framing the policy. In a separate reply, he said representations have been received in the ministry alleging that some e-commerce platforms are engaged in predatory pricing and are providing excessive discounts.

“If any violation is reported, necessary action may be taken by the competent authority,” he said. “Further, Competition Commission of India in one case filed against Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd. And Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd., vide order dated January 13…has directed the DG to conduct an investigation and submit its investigation report,” he added.

―Bloomberg Quint

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