Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal meets industry stakeholders on e-commerce and data localisation

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal met industry stakeholders on e-Commerce and data localisation on June 17.

The issues that are being discussed include opportunities for India in the growing digital economy, how e-commerce can help with value addition in Indian GDP, understanding data flows from the aspects of privacy, security, safety and free choice, ownership and sharing of data, gains and costs of cross border flow of data and how to monitor the use of data, a press release from the ministry said.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, secretaries from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Department of Commerce, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. BP Kanungo, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also attended the meeting.

The other areas of discussion also included threats from foreign competition and the need for a level playing field and impact of anti-competitive practices like predatory pricing.

The minister is also expected to have a discussion on the anticipated increase in costs and efficiency losses due to data localisation, the need for a timeline to create a data infrastructure to comply with data localisation norms and developing Indian data servers with Indian information technology companies.

In April, RBI asked payment firms to ensure their data are stored exclusively on local servers, setting a tight six month deadline for compliance. India, China and Russia have some of the strictest data localisation rules. After missing the RBI’s October deadline, Mastercard and its larger rival Visa Inc. were among those that requested for an extension.

In order to better manage Indian data, the government has floated a draft e-commerce policy which seeks to provide a policy framework that will enable the country to benefit from rapid digitisation of the domestic as well as global economy.