India's E-Commerce Policy Might Face Further Delay Amidst Slowdown in Net FDI Inflows: Report 

During a review meeting with top officials last week, it was informally decided that the policy is not an immediate priority, adds the report
India's E-Commerce Policy Might Face Further Delay Amidst Slowdown in Net FDI Inflows: Report 

India's e-commerce policy, in development since 2018, may face further delays as the government aims to maintain the current conditions with major sector players like Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon amidst a slowdown in net foreign direct investment inflows, according to a report by Moneycontrol.  

As per the report, during a review meeting with top officials last week, it was informally decided that the policy is not an immediate priority. 

The first draft of the e-commerce policy was made available in 2019. However, since the policy touched upon diverse areas including data regulation, antitrust measures, consumer protection, and intellectual property, it was found to be too wide to be implemented.  

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Commerce Ministry started re-working on the policy after challenges were pointed out from the industry.  

A senior executive of an e-commerce platform while speaking to Moneycontrol said, “Since then, nobody in the industry has seen a complete revised draft yet. In a meeting that was attended by industry leaders last year, a slide with five bullet points was presented which talked about the broad aims of the policy such as e-commerce companies should do right by the consumer.” 

Amid the delay in the implementation of the e-commerce policy, players such as Flipkart, Amazon, Zomato, Swiggy, Tata, Reliance, Shiprocket, Meesho have mentioned that in the absence of clear guidelines that points out what exactly is a manipulative practise, the e-commerce players might be targeted for mild discounts, adds the report.  

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) reportedly expressed “utter dismay over inordinate delay in rolling out of e-commerce policy and rules under Consumer Protection Act.” The body further added that this delay would be a “slow poisition situation” for the business community in the country.  

Currently, Flipkart leads the e-commerce market in India with 48 per cent market share as per a report by AllianceBernstein. Meanwhile, Softbank-backed Meesho has emerged as the fastest growing e-commerce platform in terms of user base in India.  India's e-commerce business is expected to hit $325 billion by 2030, as per a report Invest India.  

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