Inter-ministerial talks on to finalise ecommerce policy: Govt to Parliament


Minister of State for commerce and industry Som Parkash told Rajya Sabha that a draft of National e-Commerce policy has been prepared after detailed public consultations.

“Valuable suggestions have been received from many stakeholders. Inter-ministerial consultations are being held to finalise the National e-Commerce Policy,” he said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Since the announcement of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat campaign, central government through its various ministries and departments has notified 156 products under compulsory BIS certification through issuance of Quality Control Orders, Parliament was informed Friday. As per these QCOs, the products specified therein shall conform to the requirements of relevant Indian Standards and bear a Standard Mark under a license from Bureau of Indian Standards, Parkash told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told Rajya Sabha that the prices of cereals are also on the rise. “The rising global prices provide an opportunity for food exports benefiting farmers,” he said in a written reply, adding that the FAO Food Price Index for Cereals has risen from 99.3 in April 2020 to 129.4 in June 2021. India’s agriculture exports during 2020-21 have registered an increase of 17.37% as compared to exports during 2019-20. Goyal said that “exceptional increase” has been registered in the exports of items such as wheat (775.03%), non-Basmati rice (136.30%), vegetable oils (254.94%), other cereals (238.57%), oil meals (90.31%) and cotton (79.43%).

Minister of State for commerce and industry Som Parkash told Rajya Sabha that the number of closed companies registered with MCA for the period of April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 is 17,228 out of which the number of closed companies in Tamil Nadu is 1899.

“However, this includes data of companies closed before onset of Covid and also the cause of closure may not necessarily be closure of industrial activity,” he said on being asked the details of number of industries closed due to Covid-19 lockdown in the country, especially in Tamil Nadu.

In a written reply, he said, as per information received from Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the opening and closing of companies are registered with MCA, however MCA does not capture the cause of closure in any of the forms. The filings pertaining to the FY 2020-21 will commence from September, 2021 onwards.

The government said that as of June 2, 2021, SIDBI has committed Rs 5,409.45 crore to 71 SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). These funds have a target corpus fund of Rs 36,790 crore, Rs 1,541.29 crore have been drawn from the Fund of Funds and Rs 5,811 crore have been invested into 443 startups.

As of June 2021, 10,154 startups have registered on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal and 76,564 orders have been placed to startups. The value of orders served by startups has been to the tune of around Rs 3,481 crore, 510 patent facilitators and 392 trademark facilitators have been empanelled, as of March 2021, under this scheme to provide free-of-charge services to startups, minister of State for commerce and industry Som Parkash told Rajya Sabha.

As of July 12, 2021, with regard to declarations received from entities, furnished in Form 2, intimation regarding receipt of declaration in Form 2 has been mailed in the cases of 4,372 entities, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recognized startups are exempt from tax under Section 56 of the Income Tax Act when such a startup receives any consideration for issue of shares which exceeds the Fair Market Value of such shares. The startup has to file a duly signed declaration in Form 2 to DPIIT.

“There has been an increase in the number of DPIIT recognized startups in the recent years,” he said, adding that till July 15, 11,272 startups have been recognised from 14,778 in 2020.

In a separate reply, as on July 15, 2021 two incubators have been selected by the Expert Advisory Committee of Startup India Seed Fund Scheme for providing financial assistance of Rs 8 crore. DPIIT has created SISFS with an outlay of Rs 945 Crore to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization


The government informed Parliament that there is no provision to grant additional fiscal incentives to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) at present.

“However, there is no provision to grant additional fiscal incentives at present,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He said a total of 336 numbers of units exited SEZs during the last three years.

“The reason of such winding of operations includes variations in International market conditions, slowdown of orders, merger of units and Covid-19 pandemic, etc,” he said.

Noting that SEZs set up under SEZ law have “largely or generally met their objectives”, Goyal said: “SEZs have touched new heights in terms of performance in exports, investment and employment”.

Exports of Rs 22,840 crore in 2005-06 increased to Rs 7.59 lakh crore in FY 21, investment rose to Rs 6.17 lakh crore (cumulative basis) by 2020-21 from Rs 4,035.51 crore in FY06 has increased to and employment provided to 1,34,704 persons in 2005-06 has increased to 23,58,136 persons (cumulative basis) in FY21.

The government informed Parliament that imports from Hong Kong have been on a declining trend in the last two years, and India’s imports from China have also been declining for the last four years.

“There is, thus, a combined drop in our imports from China and Hong Kong in 2019-20, and 2020-21, when compared with 2018-19,” Minister of State for commerce and industry Som Parkash told the Upper House.

China’s export to India relies mainly on items required to meet the demand of fast expanding sectors like telecom and power in India. Some imports like Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and drug formulations, sold at very competitive rates, provide the Indian Pharma industry cheaper raw materials for their drug formulations which are then exported in large quantities as well. On the other hand, India’s exports to China are characterized by primary products, raw material and intermediate products mainly iron ore, copper, minerals, cotton, fisheries and spices, he said.

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