How Government Can Simplify Norms For E-commerce To Thrive

A single ministry for FDI and capacity building of retailers can help
How Government Can Simplify Norms For E-commerce To Thrive

The policies governing FDIs in the country have been complex, overlapping, and have many endpoints in terms of involvement of several ministries and government bodies, which make it difficult for various entities to operate and prosper.

Consequently, the government should come up with simpler policies on broad norms for foreign companies or for receiving foreign direct investments (FDI) in India, and not micro-manage the e-commerce business on various aspects, as per a new report by Bharti Institute of Public Policy.

“Simplification of norms for conducting business in the retail and e-commerce sector should be formed by a single ministry in consultation with other related government and non-government bodies,” the report states. 

Also, many experts believe the business norms should also be articulated timely and clearly to avoid interpretation challenges, especially foreign entities. 

“A customer-centric e-commerce domain requires FDI for growth and capacity building for small retailers to ensure their smooth online transition, and alternative platforms to be adopted by the government for a sustainable and comprehensive e-commerce growth,” said Avik Sarkar, Associate Professor, Bharti Institute of Public Policy. 

In fact, to onboard small retailers and sellers to online channels and help them transform their businesses into digital formats, the government can devise open-source software for operational digitalization and provide financial aids or loans on low-interest to small businesses for such transition.

“It is also important for policymakers to explore alternate e-commerce platforms, which can ensure fair trade and competition and benefit both small sellers and end-customers,” Sarkar further stated. 

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