Govt setting up panel to review e-commerce rules

The government has decided to set up a committee to look into all issues, including foreign direct investment norms, relating to the fast growing e-commerce business in the country.

The committee, being set up to suggest ways of further easing the policy regime for e-commerce players, including the rules for foreign direct investment, to improve `ease of doing business' in India.

The proposed committee, to be headed by Amitabh Kant, CEO of government think-tank NITI Aayog, will also have officials from commerce and industry ministry and the department of electronics and IT among others, as members.

The committee will examine various issues in e-commerce sector and suggest ways of further easing of policy curbs, a controversial issue that local retailers who fear an adverse fallout of the entry of global players.

"It will look at all the issues, including FDI pertaining to the e-commerce sector. The committee would suggest ways to further promote the growth of the sector," reports quoted a government official as saying.

The committee will address a lot of tax issues, including those related to GST. It has been asked to submit a report within 60 days.

Letting in foreign e-commerce companies in the retail arena has been a contentious issue for long in view of a vocal traders opposing the entry of large companies. Local traders argue that global players with deep pockets would wipe out the kirana shops, rendering thousands jobless.

The panel will also have representatives from four states, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, as members.