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Need for a National E-Commerce Policy

Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia recently called for an overarching national e-commerce policy to tap the huge opportunities in this segment. Speaking at a workshop on going global through an e-commerce marketplace for B2C product manufacturers, exporters, retailers, and online sellers, organized by FICCI and Amazon, Teaotia said while the B2C commerce transactions in India were growing rapidly at a CAGR of 34 percent, there was a need for pegging aspirations realistically as the growth had taken place on a low base. The commerce secretary said that the country was not entirely ready to tap the opportunities offered by e-commerce and there was a crying need to ensure that various arms of the government – department of IT, finance, and department of posts – were on the same page to capitalize on the business prospects offered by the digital space. The other challenges listed out by her included financial penetration and inclusion, infrastructure for delivery of products, and unstable supply of power. These, she asserted, would have to be tackled upfront before the e-commerce players are able to reach out to an aspirational population, including the rural populace.

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