Policy changes must for e-commerce to thrive in India: Experts
Vice President, Bharti Enterprises, Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal

New Delhi: From better channelisation of foreign direct investments (FDIs) to creating new retail business models, from improving frameworks for secure data usage and customer awareness to enhancing the capacity of small sellers, the e-commerce industry in India should undergo certain changes to ensure a fast-paced and equitable growth for all stakeholders, suggests a new report released today by the Bharti Institute of Public Policy, the policy think-tank of the Indian School of Business (ISB). 

The report ‘Policy recommendations for Customer-Centric E-commerce in India’ analyses the scope and challenges of the e-commerce industry, and its current policy scenario, and puts across significant policy changes for the sector’s growth and development. Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice President, Bharti Enterprises, while launching the report here today, also led discussions with experts from government, academia, industry and developmental sector, in the backdrop of the recently released New Draft E-Commerce Rules, 2021.

Based on desk research for over two years, followed by a dialogue with subject matter experts, government officials, sellers, and e-commerce companies, the research report, commissioned by Empower India, documents policy interventions in the e-commerce ecosystem into four broad areas. These include Foreign Direct Investments, Business Models, Data Search, and Taxation. Researchers have listed ways to promote rural job generation; regulate the digital economy through emerging technologies; simplify norms for receiving FDIs; create an apex national statutory body for online advertisement; improve the presence of alternative e-commerce platforms; capacity building of small retailers; auditing e-commerce search and data storage; and catering to issues of double taxation in e-commerce businesses. The recommendations, adhering to multiple facets of the industry, call for governments to make enhancements in institutional and policy frameworks for safeguarding the interests of sellers, consumers, and domestic and foreign businesses in the highly competitive and evolving e-commerce market.

“Digital transformation, internet penetration along with increasing disposable incomes in India have led to the rise of e-commerce in the country. Given the dynamism and multidimensionality of the sector, there needs to be constant research for better policymaking. The report gives a holistic picture of the e-commerce landscape to help researchers, policymakers and foreign companies willing to enter the Indian market,” said Prof Avik Sarkar, lead author of the report.

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