The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has extended the deadline for sending comments on India’s ecommerce policy to 29 March 2019, as opposed to the previous deadline of 9 March, it said in a notification. Stakeholders and the public can send comments to ecom-dipp@gov.in. The government released a draft of the National E-commerce Policy on February 23.

Last week, industry associations such as Nasscom and the Confederation of Indian Industry sought an extension to the comments deadline. At the same time, several industry members held discussions via associations like FICCI, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), while Nasscom and IndiaTech sought comments from industry members.

What does the ecommerce policy say?

While the policy intermixes the terms “ecommerce” and the “digital ecosystem”, here are some of the other points that stand out from it:

  • During negotiations, the policy space must be retained to seek disclosure of source code for facilitating transfer of technology and development of applications for local needs as well as for security.
  • The Policy acknowledges the importance of data as an asset and identifies the means to protect data generated in India, enhance data security, prevent violation of privacy and create domestic standards for devices which are used to store, process and access data.”
  • India and its citizens have a sovereign right to their data.”
  • Further, by not imposing restrictions on cross-border data flow, India would itself be shutting the doors for creation of high-value digital products in the country.
  • “… high advertising charges become a barrier to entry. Advertising charges in e-commerce must be regulated, especially for small enterprises and start-ups.”

Read about the complete lowdown on the policy here.

Edit: This story has been updated with excerpts from the ecommerce policy.