BJP National VP Jay Panda suggests to handle digital economy optimally in India for economic growth

KNN, December 02, 2019

The size of digital economy in India is around USD 181 billion dollars today which can contribute substantially to our economic growth, if handled optimally, says Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, National Vice President, BJP and Former MP.

He said to achieve this, large companies should be distinguished from smaller ones. Large companies, particularly those turning into utilities, must seek consent from consumers for data use and should be subject to stringent regulation. Their smaller counterparts, including start-ups, however, may need not be subject to such severe regulation.

He was speaking on the theme of Making Competition and Regulatory Regimes Matter in Increasingly Online Developing World, at the opening of a flagship event on Competition, Regulation and Development, organised by CUTS International and CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition. The event spans over two days and will conclude on 2nd December.

Further, Sangeeta Verma, Member, Competition Commission of India, highlighted that competition regulation cannot be seen in isolation from development goals. Regulators need to understand how digital markets are evolving. Data driven acquisitions need an evolved merger and acquisition thresholds, as Competition Law Review Committee in India has introduced deal value thresholds in place of mere asset value thresholds. In pursuit of dynamic efficiencies, emerging monopolies need to be rewarded for innovation.

However, as George K Lipimile, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Competition Commission of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, a regional competition authority, noted, that competition authorities in emerging countries have limited resources and lack requisite capacity. There might be a need for a new model law for competition to deal with evolving issues in digital economy.

Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International, said that emerging economies will need to tailor competition and regulation regimes for their requirements and cannot solely rely on experiences of advanced economies.

”There is a need to have a dual approach on optimal regulation and competition enforcement, informed by a whole of government approach,” he said.

He also suggested institutionalization of National Competition Policy to ensure better coordination between competition authority and sector regulators, both at the level of centre and states.

Other participants in conference included Allan Asher, Chair, and Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance, Australia, who cautioned against overemphasis on national security considerations as an exception to privacy standards.

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