Taking a strong stand on e-commerce and FDI policy, newly elected minister for commerce and industry, Piyush Goyal has asked all e-retail and marketplace firms to submit their concerns on draft e-commerce policy within 10 days.
The issue was discussed during a meeting attended by Goyal with e-commerce and tech companies including Amazon, Flipkart, Facebook, Dell, SAP, Google, PayPal, and IBM.
According to an ET report, government officials from the commerce ministry, RBI, Ministry of External Affairs were also present in the meeting.
Goyal also assured all industry representatives that the govt will address each and every concern and asked them to send their concerns in writing to the DPIIT.
The 40-page draft policy released by DPIIT on February 23, mentioned six broad issues of e-commerce in the country – data, infrastructure development, e-commerce marketplaces, regulatory issues, stimulating domestic digital economy and export promotion through e-commerce.
On the other hand, the current FDI policy barred e-commerce marketplace entitled for mandating any seller to sell any product exclusively on its platform. Besides, a single vendor on a platform cannot sell more than 25% of the overall value of transactions, of a marketplace.
While Goyal clearly said that the government would not allow multi-brand retail trade by foreign e-commerce companies in India, MeitY promised that issues like data localisation and cross border data flow will be taken care of in Data Protection Bill.
Further, it stated that MeitY and NASSCOM may deal with the concerns of companies over data localisation.
Major e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart-controlled Flipkart have been demanding leniency in e-commerce policy while TECI, a lobby group to represent the interest of home-grown e-commerce companies had argued for strict implementation of FDI laws.
Apart from TECI, traders body CAIT and sellers body AIOVA have been targeting these e-commerce marketplaces over violating FDI rule, predatory pricing, among other issues.
The statement from the commerce minister seems to be a good sign for all the aforementioned companies that can debate over the matter and submit their suggestion in the given time frame.