July 07, 2022
Speaking at the webinar ‘The Unease of Doing Digital Business in Digital India’ organised by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), Dr Saurabh Garg, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) remarked that the ‘government’s focus is on decriminalising and reducing regulatory overburden.’
He also mentioned that India is leading in online payment transactions and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) has enhanced financial inclusion. On the issue of grievance redressal, he commented that there are different laid out systems by different departments and citizens’ charter have been developed which assure that grievances are redressed.
‘CUTS initiative to promote Ease of Doing Digital Businesses (EoDDB) in India is a timely and important intervention as the Government of India is coming up with multiple regulations that are fuelling anxiety among the business community. These include amendments to IT Rules 2021 and the recent CERT-In guidelines’, remarked Mr. Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS.
Mehta was pointing towards the report by CUTS, ‘[Un]Ease of Doing Digital Business in India: A Study of Policy and Regulatory Challenges’, released during the webinar. The study highlights that the existing and proposed regulations for digital businesses are not very friendly. It looks at four different parameters (i) criminalising provisions, (ii) regulatory uncertainty, (iii) unnecessary compliances and (iv) inadequate digital infrastructure as the major causes which impede EoDDB.
Many regulations which target digital businesses alone, have provisions of imprisonment for minor economic offences and non-compliances which are disproportionate. Regulatory uncertainty causes digital businesses to rethink their investment decisions. Compliance requirements such as restrictions around cross border data flow require capital intensive efforts from businesses in the form of data storage and bringing back mirror copies, amongst others.
While pointing towards the findings of the study, Mehta stated that ‘EoDDB needs to be in sync with Ease of Doing Business (EoDB)’. He emphasised on the importance of optimal regulation and stated that any regulatory framework should consider costs and benefits on different stakeholders by undertaking Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).
During the webinar, an all women panel discussion was conducted which was moderated by Neelanjana Sharma, Senior Research Associate, CUTS. The panel had Beni Chugh, Research Manager, Dvara Research, Nehaa Chaudhari, Partner, Ikigai Law, and Zainab Bawa, COO, Hasgeek, who touched on the issues of adoption of technology for market supervisions, having different frameworks for intermediary liability while removing criminalising provisions and creating harmony between on-ground realities and government schemes to promote inclusivity.
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