Hyderabad, Apr 13 (PTI) The Centre has set up an inter-ministerial group to study issues related to E-commerce sector in the country, said a top official of Department of Commerce here today.
“This is little premature to say right now. What we have set up is an inter-ministerial group to discuss the issues relating to e-commerce,” Union Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said at a press conference.
“What are the possible key areas, where we want the government to grapple with the policy framework. A lot of ministries are involved in this discussion and so is the industry involved. There is some discussion on this,” she added.
She further said the e-commerce sector is growing rapidly in the country adding it is not just selling goods but also services like transport aggregators like Uber and Ola.
“What should be the framework for this is something that we would need to address and that is what under discussion,” she added.
Teaotia, however, said there was no time-frame for coming out with recommendations.
The trade deficit for last fiscal increased as both exports and imports went up substantially following the global crude prices hike and merchandise exports have also gone up.
“The merchandise exports have crossed USD 302 billion in FY 18. The services exports have crossed USD 175 billion. So this is a positive story for the country,” she explained.
Replying to a query, she said the burning issue for every exporter is streamlining of Goods and Services Tax (GST) processes.
The Commerce Secretary said the system will settle down in the coming months as the government is taking lot of steps in that direction.
On the free trade agreement with the European Union, Teaotia said the bilateral agreement negotiations were never called off by India, but it was the EU which withdrew in 2012.
“It is India which has been seeking to re-engage since 2012. We had about five or six rounds of stock taking in the last two years alone. This week my colleague was in Brussels for a meeting that was specifically addressing each of the chapter of our agreement with EU. I hope we will see progress.
EU is also interested now,” she said.
Teaotia was in the city to participate in a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
She said the Telangana government is in sixth position in the country in terms of services exports.
The union secretary earlier met Telangana Chief Secretary SK Joshi.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.