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Modi government may tweak e-commerce law ahead of signing trade pact with Australia

Sources in the commerce ministry said that the Australian counterpart want absolute clarity on some of the clauses before going ahead with the deal and want it to tweak them.

Published: 05th October 2021 03:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2021 09:54 AM   |  A+A-

E-commerce, Online shopping, Retail

For representational purpose. (File Photo)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The commerce ministry is considering tweaking e-commerce rule and is ready to soften its stand after the Australian government flagged concerns before the trade deal.

Earlier the Australian government, which is soon to seal a trade pact with India, has already highlighted that India’s new e-commerce rules would “impose extensive extraterritorial obligations on foreign e-commerce entities operating in India” and has written a detailed letter to the Department of Consumer seeking clarity and adding that some of the conditions would increase trade barriers.

Sources in the commerce ministry said that the Australian counterpart want absolute clarity on some of the clauses before going ahead with the deal and want it to tweak them as they perceive it as “discriminatory”.

Some of the clarification is regarding the definition of misselling, ban of flash sales, mandatory registration of e-commerce companies among others, and the Australian counterpart added that the rules would impose unreasonable compliance costs and be particularly onerous for SMEs.

“This deal is crucial to us there were some concerns and we are looking into it. We are open to relook at some of the clauses. The minister himself is looking into the matter and has assured that every stakeholder’s interest will be taken into consideration,” a senior commerce ministry official told TNIE. 

The matter was also taken up at a meeting between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart on Thursday.

“...What minister (Piyush) Goyal and myself agreed was that there would be an e-commerce chapter in the final agreement,”  said Dan Tehan, Australian trade minister.



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