A day after issuing modifications in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in e-commerce, government sources informed that there is no need being felt for a regulatory authority in e-commerce space.
While domestic online traders and vendors with brick-and-mortar stores await a more comprehensive draft e-commerce policy, which claims that sources may be released in a few weeks’ time, there is doubt on how the government will instrument its newest order without a proper regulator in place.
“Instead of investigating violations by particular companies in existing Press Note 3/2016, the government has washed their past sins and formed new policy. It will be years before government investigates or penalizes them. Now this compliance is conveniently postponed to September 2019,” reports a spokesperson for All India Online Vendors Association, a group of more than 3500 vendors pan-India, adding “There will be no benefit, press note 3/2016 was openly violated and the government didn’t investigate. This press note will also be violated.”
When sources pointed out that the clarifications, in the absence of an empowered body to evaluate violations might defeat the object, the ministry of commerce source said that “the government will consider if there is a need for a separate regulator for e-commerce. If it’s felt that there is, it will find its way to the e-commerce policy in a few weeks.”
A conflicting view to setting up a separate regulator added the source was that the government should not regulate trade at a high extent.
FDI rules violation includes those for e-commerce are now looked into by the ED (Enforcement Directorate).
Traders’ bodies have been creating pressure on the government to take retrospective action also on past violation cases.
In the drafted e-commerce policy is likely to be introduced soon, the main focus will be on the development of the e-commerce sector in the country and with an impetus on promoting growth in exports via e-commerce.