EASE OF DOING E-COMMERCE BUSINESS IN INDIA: THE FDI POLICY RELATING TO E-COMMERCE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE INDIAN ECONOMY
In recent years, the Indian economy has witnessed significant changes due to an increase in e-commerce. The implications of the surge of e-commerce include various economic, legislative, and social issues. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) issued a Press Note in March 2016 to regulate the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector. The policy, among other conditions, had put several restrictions on global online retailers in order to maintain a level playing field. The research work seeks to analyse as to whether such restrictions are really necessary in light of the competition issues in e-commerce in the present economic scenario or if they pose as an obstacle in the ease of doing business. Recently, a think tank headed by the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, was set up for the drafting of a national e-commerce policy. The think tank has come up with the first draft of the e-commerce policy which has been shared among the stakeholders for consultations. The draft policy mainly reiterates the provisions relating to competition and FDI issues from the Press Note, along with some more restrictions placed on e-commerce companies. The research work examines the draft policy with respect to the relevance of the restrictions imposed under the policy and opines on whether the draft policy is the right way forward.