Piyush Goyal Asks Firms To Submit Concerns On Draft E-Commerce Policy In 10 Days
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Piyush Goyal Asks Firms To Submit Concerns On Draft E-Commerce Policy In 10 Days

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Union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal has asked online retail firms to submit their concerns on India’s draft e-commerce policy within 10 days.

The issue was discussed during a meeting between the minister and representatives of e-commerce and technology industry in Mumbai on Monday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the commerce ministry said the e-commerce industry representatives also flagged their concerns about the draft e-commerce policy which they felt was not adequately consultative.

"The commerce minister assured the e-commerce industry representatives that each and every concern of the industry will be addressed and for that the minister requested representatives to send their concerns in writing to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade within 10 days," the ministry said in the statement.

DPIIT is an arm of the commerce and industry ministry which deals with the issue.

The e-commerce and information technology companies, at the meeting on Monday, also raised concerns related to the Reserve Bank of India's data localisation norms and processing-related guidelines. On this, RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo, assured the industry that the central bank to look into these issues.

Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, also assured e-commerce companies that the Data Protection Bill will reflect all the consultations that had taken place with the industry during the formulation of the bill.

"The principles of data protection and privacy were discussed at length in the meeting and industry representatives requested the minister to ensure that the bill will have more clarity around classification of data and the manner of cross border flow of data. The minister assured that MeitY will address this concern too," it said.

Goyal stated that MeitY and National Association of Software and Services Companies may deal with the concerns of companies that build products in India and store their data in the country.

Monday’s meeting holds significance as the ministry is in the process of finalising the India e-commerce policy. Several multi-national firms have raised concerns over certain provisions of the draft e-commerce policy.

Also read: Draft E-Commerce Policy: Is It The Government’s Job To Fix Prices?

The draft e-commerce policy proposes setting up of a legal and tech framework for restrictions on cross-border data flow and also laid out conditions for businesses regarding collection or processing of sensitive data locally and storing it abroad.

The meeting was attended by government officials from the commerce ministry, RBI, Ministry of External Affairs, besides reprensentatives of e-commerce and IT companies.

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