- DPIIT is seeking inputs from various ministries and government agencies to build consensus on and hasten the launch of regulations to govern all forms of electronic commerce in the country.
- The DPIIT outreach aims to ensure the ecommerce proposals do not clash with other upcoming legislations.
- Personal and non-personal data policies, the consumer protection Bill and various taxation policies are in the works that affect online commerce, social media and Internet companies in India
- Industry executives expect the second draft of the proposed ecommerce policy will likely include clauses to regulate the functioning of online marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart while carving out benefits for local ecommerce players
- It could also look to incentivise flow of local capital into India’s burgeoning internet commerce space.
- Other specific regulations could include restrictions on bulk purchase of smartphones, white goods, electronics and fashion products by related party sellers on ecommerce marketplaces.
- The setting up of a regulator for the ecommerce sector is also on the cards.
- The upcoming ecommerce policy will likely provide guidance on data localisation, consumer protection, directives to boost digital payments and ecommerce exports.
- It could also include restrictions on ecommerce imports.
- Discussions to promote digital transactions online, especially among smaller sellers, have also been held.
National Floor for Min Wages
- The labour ministry has decided to junk the recommendation by a panel on steep increase to the national floor for minimum wages.
- The labour ministry is now proposing to set up a new technical committee to prescribe a new one.
- The earlier recommendation of ₹375 as against ₹178 per day was found unacceptable as it was a steep jump from the existing floor rate.
- India is struggling to be cost competitive vis-a-vis other countries.
- Such high labour wages will impact India’s cost competitiveness going forward and will not be sustainable by the employers.
- The government is keen to implement all labour codes including the one on wages, which provides for setting up of a statutory national floor level for minimum wages, from April 1, 2021.
- The national floor on minimum wages under the Code on Wages will be statutory and binding on all states unlike the existing floor of ₹178, which is just advisory.
- Thus, many states have minimum wages lower than ₹178.
- The centre, should only advise on a national floor level minimum wage and leave it to states and industries to fix their wages as there is huge variation across states and sectors.
Services Export Sops Scheme
- The government is looking to revamp a key exports incentive scheme for the services sector.
- The proposed revamp could see some widening of the scheme to bring in more beneficiaries and sectors.
- The Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS) covers nine broad sectors, including business services, communication, construction and tourism.
- SEIS was launched in 2015 to boost services exports.
- It offers incentives of 5-7% of net foreign exchange earned.
- Under the scheme, benefit is extended in the form of duty credit scrip which enables the holder to import all goods which are freely importable without payment of basic customs duty.
- The scrip and the goods imported against the scrip are freely transferable.
Steel Preferential Pricing to MSMEs
- Several of India’s primary steelmakers have introduced schemes to supply steel at preferential prices to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Arcelor-Mittal Nippon Steel and Jindal Steel & Power said they have started offering preferential prices to MSMEs.
- These schemes follow a notification from the Department of Commerce in October to all primary steelmakers, asking them to supply steel at export-parity price to MSMEs and exporters of engineering products.
- MSMEs can now approach stockrooms of JSW Steel to place orders for quantities based on their needs.
Govt Bans 43 More Chinese Apps
- The government has banned 43 more Chinese apps, including short video sharing app Snack Video and popular ecommerce platform AliExpress, along with AliPay Cashier.
- In June, it had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and in September an additional 118 apps were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
- A ban order has been issued for blocking access to users of these apps based on the comprehensive reports received from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and the Ministry of Home Affairs
Bloomberg Billionaires Index
- Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder passed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person.
- The 49-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth soared $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price..
- Musk has added $100.3 billion to his net worth this year, the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.
- The year has been a lucrative one for the world’s people.
- Despite the pandemic, the members of the Bloomberg index have collectively gained 23% — or $1.3 trillion — since the year began.