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Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on E-commerce

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Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on E-commerce

Recently the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has submitted the report on ‘Promotion and regulation of e-commerce in India’.

The report recommends a clear definition on the e-commerce model. At the same time, it has also been recommended to ensure that marketplaces do not indulge in an inventory based model.

Inventory Model: This is an e-commerce activity in which inventory of goods and services is owned by an e-commerce entity and sold directly to consumers.

Marketplace Model: In this model an e-commerce company provides a digital platform over a digital and electronic network. The platform acts as a facilitator between the buyer and seller. Like- Amazon, Flipkart etc.

Key findings and recommendations of the committee

Key Issues:

  • A large segment of the market is seen to be controlled by only a few digital platforms.
  • These platforms are violating foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. Also resorting to anti-competitive/unfair practices, such as over-discounting, misuse of available data, etc.

Key Challenges:

  • Digital reach of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),
  • Infringement of intellectual property rights,
  • Lack of data usage policy etc.

Key Recommendation

  • Compulsory registration of e-commerce companies with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) should be done.
  • A comprehensive framework should be put in place to regulate e-commerce. This framework should be included in the national e-commerce policy.
  • Enforcement mechanism under FDI policy should be strengthened for proactive action against violators.
  • The Digital Markets section may be created to address regulatory loopholes.
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 must be passed. In addition, a separate framework should be created for the regulation of personal and non-personal data.

Source- The Hindu

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