India will maintain its stance of not being a part of the e-commerce negotiations to frame international rules on digital trade at the forthcoming meeting of the G-20 countries on June 8-9 in Japan.

India has opposed world rules on e-commerce and conjointly the plurilateral discussions among 77 countries, the conflict that these discussions are not in step with the mandate of the multipartite commerce system and strike at its roots.

G-20 would be Piyush Goyal’s 1st international engagement as commerce and industry minister. “We have opposed e-commerce and digital trade until now and can maintain that stance at the G20 meet,” said one official responsive to the details.

While South Africa is the sole country besides India to possess opposed e-commerce talks, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have raised issues at the negotiations.

“Japan is the G20 chair and has powerfully favoured talks on digital trade,” said another official. Both India and South Africa have questioned this follow of not imposing customs duty on electronic transmissions citing revenue loss to the developing countries.

India’s potential loss of revenue by not taxing electronic transmissions is around $500 million every year, a research paper by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has stated.

As per the primary official quoted earlier, several bilateral conferences are planned at the sidelines of the G20 however meeting with the United States is nevertheless to be determined. “We can see who attends the meeting from the U.S., to examine if we are able to have a bilateral with them,” the official added.

Last week, the United States terminated discriminatory tariffs to $5.6 billion of Indian exports when deciding that New Delhi has not committed to providing “equitable and affordable access to its markets”.

American e-commerce giants Amazon and Walmart have opposed India’s e-commerce norms that ban firms with foreign investment from selling merchandise via corporations within which they need an equity interest and additionally stop them from creating deals with sellers to sell solely on their platforms. They’ll only operate as marketplaces.

Besides, the united states have, in addition, criticised India’s data localisation norms and draft e-commerce policy terming certain proposals as “most discriminatory and trade-distortive”. It had stated that India lacks the infrastructure to be able to save its companies’ data whereas India has declared that it’s the sovereign right over the info generated within the country.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes

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