Mastercard, Visa Can Be Allowed To Store Data Outside India; But India Says No To FDI In Multi-Brand Retail

Last month, we covered a story for you which showed detailed accounts of how India had been trying its best to provide enough opportunities for in-house retailers losing badly to the American e-commerce companies. RBI too, on October 16, 2018 took a step focusing on data localisation to safeguard privacy.

This was strongly comprehended by Trump, leading to a 3 day meeting between the US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and the Indian Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu.

There has been three consecutive meetings lately, leading to the shape of some new reforms and discussions, all headed by the country’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, enveloping certain FDI policies.

India Retaliates to Not Allow Multi Brand Retailing by Foreign Firms

The government has taken a stern stand on not allowing foreign companies to operate in multi-brand segment and shall undertake necessary actions against any foreign party indulging in predatory pricing.

In a meeting with representatives of tech giants like Amazon and Flipkart, accompanied by stakeholders like Facebook, Dell, SAP, Google, PayPal and IBM, the Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal conveyed strongly that India will not allow multi-brand retail by foreign companies and predatory pricing will not be allowed and necessary action will be taken against defaulters.

India to Draft e-commerce Policies

In another meeting with e-commerce and tech industry representatives, also attended by secretaries of Department of Commerce, DPIIT, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Governor of RBI, the e-comm representatives pointed out concerns related to ‘not having an adequate say’ into the matters directly related to them.

The Indian govt has asked e-commerce companies to send their concerns regarding the draft e-commerce policy, to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in writing within 10 days. The policy shall be finalised only after taking into account every suggestion received by (DPIIT).

They’ve been assured that the Data Protection Bill will surely reflect all consultations that took place with the industry during the formulation of the Bill.

RBI Can Relax on Some Data Storage Norms: Good News for Mastercard, Visa

In another one of such meetings, concerns were raised by tech players on RBI’s reform to store all the data related to Indian customers within the country, focusing on data localisation, improved privacy safeguards and measures to combat the sale of counterfeit products. Payment firms including Mastercard, Visa, American Express and PayPal clattered against this.

In a meeting on  e-commerce and data storage policies, attended by representatives of major cos like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and more, along with the Deputy governor of RBI, the aforementioned RBI’s policies and risen concerns on the same were discussed. This act heated up the India-America trade. The Deputy governor of RBI assured these these representatives that RBI will surely loosen some strings.

While the Indian govt more stringent data storage rules to check the misuse of data and also have an access to this data or any investigative purposes, the tech cos argue that this would comply them to change their business models and raise costs.

In all of these meetings, the main directive is that India has always and will continue to encourage FDI in every sphere but not at the cost of Indian firms and retailers being destroyed due to uneven competition from the foreign companies.

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