Amid domestic traders continuously complaining alleged violations of FDI norms by foreign online players, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the ministry will “very shortly” come out with certain clarifications on the e-commerce sector. Goyal said the ministry is not changing any policy on e-commerce for foreign direct investment as the policy is crystal clear. “We will also come out with the e-commerce policy and whatever clarifications… Certain instances have come to our notice where the policy is not being followed in letter and spirit, we will obviously be clarifying that very shortly,” he told reporters here.
The statement assumes significance as the minister recently stated that all e-commerce companies should follow the law of the land and not use muscle or money power to hurt Indian interests as many of these large online firms have come into India and “very” blatantly flouted the laws. He also said the consumer affairs ministry recently announced the draft e-commerce rules under the consumer protection law and after getting stakeholders’ views, the final rules will be issued. “This is a series which involves consumer affairs, the FDI policy, and e-commerce policy.
“We wanted to come with the consumer protection rules of e-commerce first because we believe that our most important stakeholder is the consumer and we wanted to make sure that consumer protection prevails over everything else,” the minister said. These draft rules have also sent a strong message to the world, as some time ago, there used to be a criticism that India’s e-commerce policy is skewed against foreign investors. “By announcing the e-commerce rules for consumer protection, we have demonstrated that our first and foremost concern is the consumer,” he added. CAIT has time and again alleged that the e-commerce players violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act and FDI rules.