Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has decided to keep data localisation out of the e-commerce policy and let the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY) tackle the issue through the data protection bill, Livemint reports. Goyal said this at a meeting with representatives of 25 major e-commerce companies, including Amazon and Flipkart, on Monday. The draft national e-commerce policy, released in February, included rules on data localisation even though the issue was already addressed in the draft data protection bill. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is expected to introduce the personal data protection bill in the ongoing budget session of Parliament. Last month the Finance Ministry had suggested that provisions relating to data protection be excluded from the national e-commerce policy, on grounds that the issue was best handled by MeitY. A government official said that the draft data protection bill, drafted by MeitY, was not restricted to e-commerce companies but applied to every industry and sector. Moreover, according to the official, the e-commerce policy should look at data from the point of view of competition and should list provisions such that data is not misused to influence prices, and to ensure a level playing field for all sellers. Piyush Goyal’s warning about steep discounts At Monday's meeting, Goyal also warned e-commerce companies to strictly comply with the new foreign investment rules and refrain from offering steep discounts on their platforms, Reuters reported. He urged the companies to not violate the new FDI rules “in letter or spirit". Goyal said that while the…
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