A new government panel is looking at making e-commerce easier in India-- but it may be too soon to cheer for Amazon and Walmart

  • The committee will work towards coordination across Ministries regarding e-commerce.
  • The draft e-commerce policy had also spoken about ensuring “harmonious” work across ministries.
  • Meanwhile, industry leaders have until June 27 to express their concerns about the policy.
Global e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, which owns India-born Flipkart,have been vying for a less choppy ride in India. The draft e-commerce policy from the Narendra Modi government has given executives from these companies sleepless nights.

But in a move that may keep hope alive, the Indian government is trying to ease the function of e-commerce in the country. It has formed formed a standing Group of Secretaries under Ramesh Abhishek, the secretary for Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

This committee will ensure inter-ministerial/inter-departmental coordination on resolving issues, cutting across Ministries and departments, regarding e-commerce in India, according to an official release.

After the draft e-commerce policy had been announced, Indian industry had voiced their concerns regarding the same. While foreign players not being allowed to take on multi-brand retail, domestic players do not have to comply to such regulations. Indian players like Snapdeal had also mentioned that the policy ignores inventory-based e-commerce players.

Founders of Snapdeal, Shopclues were even reported to have come together to set up a lobby for Indian e-commerce which would give the government its inputs on the policy.

However, it is not clear whether this panel of bureaucrats will address the exact issues raised by the industry. Meanwhile, Indian e-commerce players have until June 27 to submit their concerns on the draft e-commerce policy.

The Indian e-commerce market targeting consumers is estimated to reach $200 billion by 2026, whereas the enterprise e-commerce is expected to hit a whopping $300 billion. As of now, the country’s e-commerce industry is a mere 3% of the global market in size.
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