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India’s 1st e-Commerce Think Tank Meet

Published on April 26, 2018
The first meeting of e-Commerce Think Tank was convened by the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu.
  • The think tank was set up by the government to deliberate on issues related to e-commerce sector and cross-border digital trade.
  • Suresh Prabhu chaired the first meeting of the think tank setup to frame a national policy on e-commerce. 

Aim of the Think Tank

The think tank on the Framework for National Policy on E-commerce will seek to collectively deliberate the challenges confronting India in the arena of digital economy with a view to developing recommendations for a comprehensive and overarching national policy on e-commerce.

Key facts

  • The think tank is set up by the department of commerce.
  • The Think-tank is being led by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and has officials from Ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, Corporate Affairs and Electronics & Information Technology.
  • It comprises representatives from fifty organizations – both government and private to provide a forum to nurture domestic firms and create jobs in e-commerce.
  • To partake in multi-trillion dollar digital economy and address emerging concerns of ecommerce, privacy and data security, Indian government has moved to develop a ‘National Policy on e–Commerce’.
  • Some of the issue discussed by the think tank include -
  • Physical and digital infrastructure
  • Regulatory regime
  • Taxation policy
  • Data flows and server localisation
  • IP rights protection
  • FDI
  • Global developments on e-commerce and evolving appropriate national positions on the underlying issues, was another important dimension of the discussions of the think tank.
  • One of the major outcomes of the meeting was to constitute a task force for preparing recommendations for India's national policy on e-commerce. 
  • The task force will be divided into various sub-groups, comprising representation from the Government of India, e-commerce industry and experts with domain knowledge.
  • The task force will finalise its recommendations within six months.
  • The setting up of this task force is important in view of the issues faced by the domestic industry and to help India articulate its stand on ecommerce at the WTO (World Trade Organization).
  • While India is participating in the technical negotiations on the issues at the WTO, it has opposed taking any rule-making and commitments on the matter. 

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