New Delhi, May 31, 2018

Nine subgroups, formed to work on the contours of policy for the fast growing e-commerce sector, are expected to hold their first meeting by June-end, an official said on Thursday.

These groups will submit their recommendations to a task force, which would finalise the national policy on e-commerce. The task force then give its report to a think-tank, headed by the Commerce and Industry Minister.

The first meeting of these subgroups is likely to held between June 20-22 here, the official said.

These groups will look at issues, including foreign direct investment norms; skills, education and training; data protection and location of computing facilities; cross border transfer of information by electronic means; digital products, customs duties and taxation; trade facilitation measures; measures enhancing consumer confidence; protection of intellectual property and innovation; and payment system for electronic transactions.

The think-tank in its meeting on April 24 had decided to set up a task force and sub-groups to finalise the policy on the sector.

A detailed national policy on the sector will help India in articulating its stand on e-commerce at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Several developed economies, including the US, are keen on an agreement in the WTO on the e-commerce sector.

India is participating in the ongoing technical negotiations on the issues in the WTO, but the subject is not on the formal negotiating table as the sector is at nascent stage in the country and developing countries want time to prepare themselves.

[The Hindu Business Line]