wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Why scrapping the e-commerce policy is a mistake

India’s draft national e-commerce policy was negotiated behind closed doors with a handpicked group of companies that excluded some of the most significant players in India’s e-commerce landscape. The current protectionist draft by the companies and the government came up with was leaked to the press, and the government promised a public consultation, which did not happen.

Instead, as DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said in a revealing discussion on Monday, “you don’t need a policy actually,” and that “You can straightaway do the things to be done” with a mysteriously organised ‘committee of secretaries’. Will there be a policy? They refused to say explicitly.

Why we need a consultative approach to a policy

Policies shape the state of not just governance but has wide reaching impacts on everything we do.

  • A policy is essential. Regulating quickly behind closed doors is tempting.
  • But a technocratic “move-fast-and-break-things” impulse is dangerous.
  • Indian administrative and governance bureaucrats don’t often understand the gravity of the tasks before them — as is evident in some of the leaked e-commerce policy’s recommendations — which is why a consultative process is so important.
  • Curiosity and deliberation is baked into many of our regulatory and legislative actions for a reason. TRAI did not just start out with a goal to put powerful net neutrality rules in place. It did so after civil society and the public urged it to do so, and the regulator faced that feedback with curiosity and patience.
  • On top of that, a policy is not just a to-do list for IAS officers to hang on the notice board: It is a charter of responsibilities and expectations over the course of several years of administration that the government outlines for itself and the public.
  • A policy is essential for governance to be transparent, consultative and open, especially in the information age.

And for that, the draft national e-commerce policy needs to both officially exist, and be open for comment.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ