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Govt forms e-commerce think tank to back local firms on global stage

Online vendors

To have a clear roadmap for homegrown e-commerce companies, the central government has established a think tank. The entity is being lead by commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu will be crafting policies to avoid any uncertainty prevail on global fronts about cross border digital trade.

The think-tank body would also chalk out holistic domestic policy for e-commerce companies to leverage existing situations in cross border trade.

Besides commerce and industry ministry, the entity also involves other government as well as private stakeholders such as a deputy governor from the Reserve Bank of India, ministries of finance, home affairs, corporate affairs, NPCI and electronics and information technology.

Telecom majors including Airtel and Reliance Jio and ecommerce companies such as Paytm, MakeMyTrip, Snapdeal and Practo amongst several others are also the part of it. Notably, Technology, Information Forecasting and Assessment Council will also be a part of the think tank body.

It’s likely to predict technologies of the future and assist government in devising required policy.

Meanwhile, Indiatech.org, a high profile lobby group floated by the founders of Flipkart, Ola, Hike, and Quikr among others to protect the interest of homegrown e-commerce companies against global giants, has been struggling to take off.

Within six months of joining as a CEO of the online lobby group, former IAS officer and economist Gyanendra Badgaiyan has now left the firm.

Local policy for e-commerce companies is the need of the hour as over 70 countries who are the part of World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been discussing aggressively on e-commerce driven cross-border trade.

So far, India has been keeping itself out from discussing rules on e-commerce at WTO. The think tank body will act fast in creating such policies to present country’s stance in WTO and other global forums.

The development was first reported by ET.

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