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Govt pitches for national e-commerce policy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government today made a case for a national policy and a related consolidated legal framework to address the challenges of the sector and realise the opportunities in the global business-to-consumer (B2C) space.

"Most important for us at this point of time as policy-makers and also as stakeholders who are at the receiving end... We do not have a national policy and we do not have a consolidated legal framework to deal with it.

"So if we look at the ..we do need a broad policy that looks at the broad elements, that we will use to realise the opportunities," Commerce said addressing a workshop on e-commerce here.

She said was grappling with the issue of who owns the B2C as within the government, there are multiple policy-makers and regulators like departments of IT, industrial policy, revenue, posts, and RBI.

"So there are a fairly large number of players in the government itself...and all of them need to come on the same page," Teaotia said.

She said first needs to ensure readiness of its own companies for accessing global markets before talking about rule-making on the global front, observing that there are differences in the definition of MSME in the US, and

"The (WTO) is not a talk shop unlike the and When you go to WTO you are talking about global rules for trade and when you talk about global rules you have to be ready.

"This is not lightly done.. getting very excited about MSMEs on the global rule-making platform is unwise unless you know you are comparing apples to apples," Teaotia said.

She said one has to be realistic while pegging aspirations considering the scale of that the country's MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector does.

"Of course we want to engage, of course we want to talk about it but we will not commit until we are domestically ready and our companies are ready to face the global challenges," she added.

Teaotia noted that is at 83rd spot out of 144 countries ranked by in B2C

She said the wants to look at export opportunities from B2C e-commerce sector, which accounts for USD 500 million or 0.19 per cent of India's total exports.

The pointed out that India's at 33 per cent as compared to developed economies remains a challenge for the sector.

Moreover, the vast urban-rural divide, in rural areas, power supply issues and the financial inclusion also need to be looked into.

She said the sector has to rise to the challenge of achieving deeper financial penetration.

Owing to these challenges, Teaotia said, India stands at the lowest end of the global digital divide.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 14:31 IST