The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will very soon put a draft e-commerce policy in the public domain to seek views and comments, a top government official said on Saturday.

DPIIT Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said e-commerce is a fast emerging sector and it is difficult to predict where it will go in the next couple of years.

The country does not have an e-commerce policy and the department is currently working on this, he added. Several foreign e-commerce firms have raised concerns over some points in the draft pertaining to data. It is now recognised that the country should have a definite, clear and coherent policy, which is keeping in tune with the requirement of the society and service providers, he noted.

“So, the e-commerce policy firstly should lay down a very clear policy on what is data; what kind of data the e-commerce companies can use; how the citizens’ right of privacy can be protected; how the e-commerce data is being leveraged for other purposes, other commercial benefits accrue to the e-commerce data holder; how citizens like you and me can have access to those benefits.

“Secondly, there are a lot of counterfeit and inferior products and violation of various safety standards. How can these be taken care of, how can consumer rights be protected…? We have now finalised a (draft) e-commerce policy; very soon, we will put [it] in the public domain. At the time, we will request all of you to give comments on how to improve on the content of the draft e-commerce policy,” he added.

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