Govt examining possibility of regulatory authority for e-commerce sector

Source: Financial Express, Nov 07, 2019

The government is examining a possibility for setting up of a regulatory authority for the e-commerce sector, a senior official said on Thursday. Domestic traders have time and20191108-5 again demanded a regulator to monitor the sector and act against online retail companies flouting norms.

The official in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) said that they are currently working on a policy for the e-commerce sector and are examining several issues under that.

“One of the ideas floated as a part of this exercise is whether there’s a need for any regulatory authority for e-commerce. It is not a decision because the policy is yet to be finalised, but one of the many suggestions that we are examining,” the official added.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has pressed for the formation of a regulatory authority empowered to act against companies flouting norms. They have alleged that e-commerce companies are following unethical business models and are infringing on the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.

They have also alleged that these firms are involved in predatory pricing, deep discounting, loss funding, and exclusivity of various products which are not allowed under the FDI policy.

The government in February released the draft national e-commerce policy proposing setting up a legal and technological 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.

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