Centre for Internet & Society

CIS is grateful for the opportunity to submit comments to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on the draft national e-commerce policy.

The E-Commerce Policy is a much needed and timely document that seeks to enable the growth of India's digital ecosystem. Crucially, it backs up India's stance at the WTO, which has been a robust pushback against digital trade policies that would benefit the developed world at the cost of emerging economies. However, in order to ensure that the benefits of the digital economy are truly shared, focus must not only be on the sellers but also on the consumers, which automatically brings in individual rights into the question. No right is absolute but there needs to be a fair trade-off between the mercantilist aspirations of a burgeoning digital economy and the civil and political rights of the individuals who are spurring the economy on. We also appreciate the recognition that the regulation of e-commerce must be an inter-disciplinary effort and the assertion of the roles of various other departments and ministries. However, we also caution against over-reach and encroaching into policy domains that fall within the mandate of existing laws.

Our response to the draft policy can be accessed here.

The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of their individual authors. Unless the opposite is explicitly stated, or unless the opposite may be reasonably inferred, CIS does not subscribe to these views and opinions which belong to their individual authors. CIS does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the views and opinions of these individual authors. For an official statement from CIS on a particular issue, please contact us directly.