Govt: E-commerce policy in ‘final stages’ of drafting; retail trade policy to benefit 65m small traders

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Updated: Oct 28, 2020 9:15 PM

The government had released the draft e-commerce policy back in February last year focusing on ensuring a level-playing field between online and offline retailers along with data security and data storage norms, weeding out fakes from online marketplaces, and more.

Consumers across age groups have turned to e-commerce platforms to meet their consumption needs, including essentials.The launch of an e-commerce policy would be at a time when the sector is witnessing increased competition from a new set of players.

India’s e-commerce policy, which has been in the works for over two years, is likely to be out soon as the government is in the “final stages” of drafting it along with a host of other policies. Addressing a FICCI event on Wednesday, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Ministry Som Parkash said that “we are in the final stage of drafting a National Logistics Policy, New Industrial Policy, e-commerce Policy and National Retail Trade policy.” The minister added that the new National Retail Trade Policy “is being formulated to support the development of the sector that will benefit 65 million small traders. These endeavours along with the support of the industry would help in contributing a significant chunk to India’s GDP.”

The government had released the draft e-commerce policy back in February last year focusing on ensuring a level-playing field between online and offline retailers along with data security and data storage norms, weeding out fakes from online marketplaces, and more. The final policy is likely to be out by end of this year. The National Retail Trade policy, on the other hand,  would focus on creating a “to create conducive environment for retail trade including by simplifying rules and regulations hindering the growth of retail sector,” commerce and industry Minister Piyush Piyush Goyal had said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha in March this year.

“Retail has a fantastic opportunity to reinvent itself to serve customers and consumers in the pandemic,” said Raghava Rao, Co-Chair FICCI E-Commerce Committee and Vice President, Finance and CFO-Amazon Seller Services during the FICCI event.

Also read: Ride-sharing recovery for Uber, Rapido, others hinge on bikes, autos; cab-booking sees least comeback

The launch of an e-commerce policy would be at a time when the sector is witnessing increased competition from a new set of players. While Amazon and Flipkart have dominated the sector over the past many years, new incumbents including Mukesh Ambani’s JioMart would lead to more choices for consumers and possibly more discounts and offers with multiple sales throughout the year as companies look to attract the next set of 100 million users coming online from Tier-II and beyond cities.

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