India: New E-commerce Policy

August 24, 2018


The growth of science and technology has created great impact on the lives of the modern humans who rely on it for numerous day to day activities. Commercial activities have also held the arm of technology whereby multiple business transactions are now being conducted vis the electronic media. In the recent years, India has witnessed mushrooming and growth of a number of E-commerce companies, such as E-bay, Flipkart, Amazon, Uber,, IRCTC, etc.

Presently, India does not have any E-commerce policy to regulate the affairs of the commercial activities being performed on the e-platforms. However, the legal provisions governing the e-commerce are the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. India faces various challenges in the domain of e-commerce including the processing of the transactions, foreign investment thereto.

Owing to the recommendations of the World Trade Organization and with the aim to facilitate an ecosystem for domestic economy, strengthening consumer protection in the e-commerce space, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry proposed a draft E-commerce policy on July 30, 2018. News of the draft policy was not welcomed by all the concerned stakeholders and it received criticism on account of various reasons including, data localization, permission to the Indian-owned and Indian-controlled online marketplaces to hold inventory as long as products are 100% domestically produced, setting up of e-commerce regulator, etc. Although the said policy was welcomed by domestic retailers and small e-commerce players, MNCs and foreign-owned E-commerce businesses have had reservations.

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