India to frame e-commerce policy

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New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Indian government has decided to set up a task force to finalise a policy on the e-commerce sector in the country, an official announced on Tuesday.

The decision to set up a task force was taken at the first meeting of the think tank on framework for National Policy on E-Commerce that was constituted under the chairmanship of Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu.

“The objective is to come out with a framework for an e-commerce policy,” Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia told reporters here after the meeting of the think tank comprising officials from the Ministries of Finance, Electronics and Information Technology, Home Affairs and Corporate Affairs.

“The task force will come out with a set of recommendations which would be brought before the think tank in five months. The think tank will give its report in six months.”

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The task force and its various sub-groups would deliberate on all the concerned issues in detail, she said.

She also said that all issues related to e-commerce including taxation, infrastructure, investments, technology transfer, data protection, regulations and competition were discussed at the meeting.

Representatives of industry bodies, e-commerce companies, telecommunication and IT firms, the Reserve Bank of India RBI and independent experts took part in the meeting.

The Commerce Minister said the country has seen an exponential growth of the e-commerce sector and the domestic industry will continue to grow.

“We must try to promote it…and for that there is a need for a policy,” Prabhu said.

“E-commerce firms can play a greater global role,” he added.

According to officials here, issues discussed at the meeting included aspects of e-commerce, digital economy, physical and digital infrastructure, a regulatory framework, taxation policy, data flows, server localisation, intellectual property rights protection, trade related aspects and foreign investment in the sector.

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