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E-Commerce Policy: Centre To Regulate Cross-Border Flow Of Data

Restrictions on cross-border flows of data would not apply to data which is not collected in India, business-to-business (B2B) data sent to India as part of a commercial contract between a business entity located outside India and an Indian business entity.

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E-commerce
"India's data should be used for the country's development. Indian citizens and companies should get the economic benefits from the monetisation of data," said the draft policy released by the Commerce Ministry's Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Pixabay

The Centre on Saturday released the draft e-commerce policy which proposes the regulation of cross-border flow of data collected by the sector players in India.

The draft policy is now in the public domain for comments and feedback from the stakeholders.

“India’s data should be used for the country’s development. Indian citizens and companies should get the economic benefits from the monetisation of data,” said the draft policy released by the Commerce Ministry’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

All the data collected by the e-tailers in India and stored abroad should not be made available to other business entities outside the country, for any purpose, even with the customer consent, it said.

E-commerce
The data stored abroad “shall not be made available to a third party, for any purpose, even if the customer consents to it; all such data stored abroad shall not be made available to a foreign government, without the prior permission of Indian authorities,” as per the policy. Pixabay

The data stored abroad “shall not be made available to a third party, for any purpose, even if the customer consents to it; all such data stored abroad shall not be made available to a foreign government, without the prior permission of Indian authorities,” as per the policy.

However, the draft policy provides the government the right to access the data of Indian consumers stored abroad.

“A request from Indian authorities to have access to all such data stored abroad, shall be complied with immediately.”

The government will also prescribe penal consequences if an online retailer violates the rules.

Restrictions on cross-border flows of data would not apply to data which is not collected in India, business-to-business (B2B) data sent to India as part of a commercial contract between a business entity located outside India and an Indian business entity.

Software and cloud computing services involving technology-related data flows, which have no personal or community implications; and multi-national companies moving data across borders, which is largely internal to the company and its ecosystem would not have to follow the regulations.

As per the policy, domestic industrial standards need to be formulated and facilitated for smart devices and IoT (Internet of Things) devices to meet the goals of the country including, consumer protection, secured transactions, enhanced interoperability and ease-of-user interface.

E-commerce
Restrictions on cross-border flows of data would not apply to data which is not collected in India, business-to-business (B2B) data sent to India as part of a commercial contract between a business entity located outside India and an Indian business entity. Pixabay

National standard-setting organisations will be involved in this exercise along with other stakeholders, it said.

Regarding the taxation part, it said that the current practice of not imposing custom duties on electronic transmissions must be reviewed in the light of the changing digital economy and the increased role that additive manufacturing is expected to take.

The FDI policy in e-commerce has been developed in order to ensure that the marketplace provides a level playing field to all participants, it said.

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“A situation of capital dumping is to be strongly discouraged.”

The new FDI norms, which prohibit the e-tailers from selling products of companies in which they have stakes, came into effect on February 1 despite both Amazon and Walmart seeking a six-month delay in their implementation. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Coronavirus May Have Severe Impact on Asia’s Economy

This time around Chinese tourism matters even more to Southeast Asia

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Coronavirus
The Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far caused 41 deaths in China, and caused the country to quarantine 16 cities, is causing comparisons to the 2003 spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which decreased the value of the global economy by $40 billion. VOA

Southeast Asia’s proximity to China and dependence on that nation for a major share of its economy is raising concerns that the coronavirus outbreak  that started there will not only have health impacts but harm the region’s economies.

The outbreak, which has so far caused 41 deaths in China, and caused the country to quarantine 16 cities, is causing comparisons to the 2003 spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which decreased the value of the global economy by $40 billion.

“Now that the Wuhan coronavirus has been found to be able to be transmitted from human to human, the economic consequences could be extremely concerning for the Asia-Pacific region,” Rajiv Biswas, IHS Markit Asia Pacific chief economist, said.

Sectors of the economy that are particularly vulnerable to a SARS-like virus epidemic that can be spread by human-to-human transmission are retail stores, restaurants, conferences, sporting events, tourism and commercial aviation,” he said.

Observers agree that tourism could be one of the hardest-hit industries, in part because of the millions of Chinese who usually travel now, during the Lunar New Year, and in part because China has grown so much in the last two decades that many neighboring nations depend on it for tourism.

That is only one of the economic differences between China today and the China of the SARS virus in 2003.

Coronavirus
The recent coronavirus outbreak originating from China to other countries including Singapore may impart some uncertainty to near-term business and consumer sentiments. VOA

China has since then become a member of the World Trade Organization and the second-biggest economy in the world. Its supply chain has become more integrated with the rest of the world than it has ever been, and it has become the biggest trading partner for many countries in the region.

The 2003 virus decreased China’s economic growth rate, but its effect was the same for Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam, Biswas said.

This time around Chinese tourism matters even more to Southeast Asia.

After Hong Kong, nations for which Chinese visitors’ spending accounts for the biggest share of gross domestic product are, from most to least, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia, according to statistics released by Capital Economics, a London-based research company, Friday. In many of these nations, businesses catering to tourists display signs in Chinese, accept China’s yuan currency, and use that country’s WeChat for mobile payments.

Major tourism events in the region add to the threat that the virus and its economic impact will spread, such as the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Biswas said. Vietnam will also host the Vietnam Grand Prix Formula One race this year, while Malaysia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Singapore is an island nation that depends heavily on foreign trade, including to facilitate trade and investment in China. Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Singapore’s OCBC Bank, said Friday she was expecting Singapore’s economy to stage a modest recovery from 2019, but that may change.

Coronavirus
Southeast Asia’s proximity to China and dependence on that nation for a major share of its economy is raising concerns that the coronavirus outbreak  that started there will not only have health impacts but harm the region’s economies. VOA

She said “the recent coronavirus outbreak originating from China to other countries including Singapore may impart some uncertainty to near-term business and consumer sentiments.”

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That could mean slower growth in the first quarter of 2020, she said. (VOA)