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Indian e-commerce subgroup suggests FDI in inventory model
Jul '18
As part of a new e-commerce policy being discussed, foreign investment should be allowed in inventory-led online retailers stocking products made in India, a government-industry subgroup on e-commerce has recommended. The policy may reportedly pin greater liability and responsibility on online retailers, which may have to seek Indian Government accreditation.

E-commerce companies may also have to integrate with National Consumer Helpline to address consumer issues, according to a report in a top Indian business daily.

The subgroup has representatives from industry bodies and e-commerce companies, and officials from the ministry of corporate affairs, ministry of electronics and information technology, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Competition Commission of India.

Commerce secretary Rita Teaotia chaired the first meeting of the task force on e-commerce in New Delhi on July 6. The meeting discussed data localisation, foreign direct investment (FDI) in inventory-based online retail, consumer protection and emerging technologies as India seeks to finalise an e-commerce policy by the end of this year.

The subgroup’s FDI recommendation, however, attracted objections from several companies, who questioned the complication involved in defining an Indian-made product and the monitoring of any regulatory violation, according to the newspaper report.

Instead of investigating existing violations, the government is thinking of relaxing norms for big e-commerce companies, the All India Online Vendors Association said.

As the Reserve Bank of India has barred payment companies from storing data outside India, the issue of data localisation also came up for discussion at the meeting. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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