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Indian government dilutes data localisation norms in e-commerce policy

Jun 26, 2019 by The Passage Team
Indian government dilutes data localisation norms in e-commerce policy

In a major departure from the proposed plan, Indian government has dropped data localisation norms from the e-commerce policy.

Data protection would be handled by the nodal ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told 25 major e-commerce players in a meeting on Monday, Livemint reported citing two industry representatives present at the meeting.

One of the participants, Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, said in a statement: “We appreciate the initiative of commerce minister to engage in a candid, positive and progressive discussion aimed at creating a vibrant e-commerce market and Digital India. We look forward to working with the ministry and many other stakeholders to realize this growth dream."

Earlier, an expert group presided by Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna had submitted a draft Personal Data Protection Bill to the ministry.

The development comes in the wake of the upcoming meeting of visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo with external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday. The US is opposed to the proposed data localisation norms including regulation of cross-border data flow.

The e-commerce policy is a work in progress. Enough time will be given to all stakeholders to adapt to changes. More importantly, the changes will be prospective and nothing will be implemented with retrospective effect. The government’s effort would be to bring convergence of interests of e-commerce platforms and small retailers, Goyal said in the meeting, according to the statement from the commerce ministry.

In other development, industry secretary Ramesh Abhishek said a draft national retail policy would be released soon, seeking comments from the trading fraternity.

Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders, said under the proposed retail policy, all laws, acts and rules governing domestic trade should be reviewed and redundant laws scrapped, the Livemint reported.

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