Govt is considering framing an e-commerce policy, says Suresh Prabhu

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu | Photo: PTI

The government is considering framing an e-commerce policy, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu told Parliament Monday.

No deadline, however, has been fixed for the policy formulation, he said further.

Stakeholder consultations on 'Framework for National Policy on e-Commerce' with representatives from government ministries, RBI, industry bodies, e-Commerce companies, telecom and IT companies and payment companies were held in April and July this year, Prabhu said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

"The formulation of e-Commerce policy in under consideration of the government for which no timeline has been fixed," he said.

The minister was responding to a question related to the time by which the draft e-Commerce policy is likely to be put in place along with details of two rounds of stakeholder consultations done so far.

On the regulatory aspects, Prabhu said e-commerce activities are governed by relevant acts/regulations in the country including Information Technology Act, Companies Act and Consumer Protection Act.

E-Commerce companies with foreign direct investment are also governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

The e-Commerce sector in India also falls under the purview of the Competition Act, he added.

"It lays down the framework for regulating anti-competitive agreements, including vertical restraints. The conduct of certain e-Commerce players who enjoy a position of dominance in the relevant market may also be brought under the radar of Indian competition law if they abuse their dominant position," the minister informed the lower house.

Besides, proposed merger or amalgamation of e-Commerce firms whether in India or off-shore which may have an impact on the competition in India, remains liable for notification under the law, if they fall within the thresholds prescribed under the Act, he added.

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