Policy Advocacy


  

Event Report: NASSCOM-DSCI Consultation on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

Earlier today, NASSCOM and DSCI conducted its first round of member consultations, seeking views on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (Bill). The Bill which was introduced in the Parliament on 11 December 2019, has been referred to a Joint Select Committee of both houses of Parliament (the motion introduced in the Parliament for the constitution of the Joint Select Committee can be accessed here.). The Joint Select Committee is required to submit its report in the last week of the Budget Session in 2020. The event saw active participation from our members, who recognised that there were certain improvements in the Bill over the last public version. However, there remained certain areas of concern, as well as provisions where further clarity will be required. We look forward to receiv...

Seeking Inputs: TRAI Pre- Consultation Paper (CP) on Enabling Unbundling of Different Layers Through Differential Licensing

The telecom regulator on 9.12.2019 published a pre-consultation paper on enabling unbundling of different layers (e.g. infrastructure, network, services and application layer) through differential licensing. The unbundling of different layers is also one of the strategy laid down under the National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018, towards catalysing investments, innovation and ease of doing business . As per the prevailing regulatory regime, infrastructure, network and services layer are not segregated and are bundled as part of the Unified Licence (UL).  The CP mentions that unbundling of different layers will lead to optimum utilization of telecom resources by sharing of telecom resources, leading to additional revenue generation for owners/ service providers. The current consul...

Meeting to Discuss Data Protection Bill : 10:30 AM on 12th December at NASSCOM-DSCI, Noida

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha today. It is available for download here : http://164.100.47.219/BillsTexts/LSBillTexts/Asintroduced/374_2019_LS_Eng.pdf In this context, Nasscom-DSCI is organising a meeting to discuss the bill. Details of the meeting have been provided below. Time: 10.30 am – 1 pm Venue: NASSCOM Board Room – Imbibe Location: https://goo.gl/maps/5bFQxMpU3NaTfwNr8 Members wishing to attend are requested to drop a line of confirmation to Indrajeet@nasscom.in

Nasscom’s Revised Submission on Draft e-Commerce Guidelines

Nasscom recently submitted its revised inputs on the Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019 (‘draft e-Commerce Guidelines’) to Department of Consumer Affairs. The salient points of our recommendations are summarised below: Definition of e-Commerce entity needs to be better formulated (draft e-Commerce Guideline 2(1)(c)) We have recommended the following definition of ‘e-Commerce entity’: “E-Commerce entity” means a product seller conducting e-Commerce business whether through inventory based model of e-Commerce, or market place based model of e-Commerce, or both.   We have modified the definition of ‘e-Commerce entity’ to refer to the definitions used in the 2019 Act and the draft e-Commerce Guidelines.   The term, ‘product seller’, used in our recommended defin...

GST Update | Circular on treatment of ITeS services withdrawn ab-initio

The GST Policy Wing, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), recently issued Circular No. 127/46/2019 – GST dated December 4, 2019 withdrawing the issued in July 2019 2019 on taxability of “intermediary services” in the case of Information Technology Enabled Services (“ITeS”). To recap, Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR), Maharashtra held in the case of Vserv Global that specific back office support services rendered by the applicant qualify as ‘intermediary services’, as the activities performed were in the nature of ‘arranging / facilitating’ supply of goods or services between overseas company and its customers in India. This decision was upheld by the Maharashtra Appellate Authority for Advance Rulings (AAAR). This ruling opened up a pandora box of disputes for the ITeS s...

Policy Brief: RBI releases “Guidelines for ‘on tap’ Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector”

Context On 5 December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines for ‘on tap’ licensing of small finance banks in the private sector. The move comes after a review of the performance of the existing small finance banks, which were granted in-principle approval in 2015. The draft guidelines was placed for public comments on 13 September 2019. According to the Central Bank, the final guidelines have been readied after taking into consideration the responses received on the draft version. RBI had issued the Guidelines for Licensing of “Small Finance Banks” in the Private Sector on November 27, 2014. It was notified in these guidelines that after gaining experience in dealing with these banks, the Reserve Bank would consider ‘on tap’ licensing of these banks. Key highlights of the guid...

Policy Update: RBI introduces a new type of PPI

Context On 5 December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a slew of sops for fintech companies.  These include, re-introduction of minimum KYC (know-your-customer) PPIs (prepaid payment instruments), revision of P2P (peer-to-peer) lending limits and issuance of on-tap licenses for small finance banks. This is a part of various developmental and regulatory policy measures for strengthening regulation and supervision; broadening and deepening of financial markets; and improving payment and settlement systems, which the Central Bank announced in its Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies. Key highlights of RBI’s statement pertaining to the fintech sector: New Pre-Paid Payment Instruments (PPI) “PPIs have been playing an important role in promoting digital payments. To furth...

NASSCOM’s Feedback on TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Cloud Services

NASSCOM recently submitted its comments on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s Consultation Paper on Cloud Services dated 23 October, 2019 (CP). TRAI had conducted a similar initiative in 2016, through the issuance of a Consultation Paper on Cloud Computing on 10th June 2016 (“2016 CP”). NASSCOM, in its’ responses to the 2016 CP had at that time suggested a ‘light touch’ approach for regulating the sector, subject to a detailed evaluation of ascertaining the need for any regulations in the first place and emphasising upon the need for harmonisation with other existing legislative and regulatory enactments applicable to the cloud services industry. TRAI’s 2016 CP echoed the suggestion of a ‘light touch’ regulatory framework. However, what could be an appropriate ‘light ...

PDP Bill approved by the Union Cabinet today

The Union Cabinet earlier today accorded its approval to the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP Bill), and intends to table it on the floor of the parliament in this session. The version of the PDP Bill that has been approved by the Union Cabinet is not yet available publicly. We believe the final bill is likely to ease some restrictions around cross border data flows and rationalise the definition of sensitive personal data. It is likely to be an improved draft. As we have not seen the new Bill, these are our impressions based on various discussions. As of the last available public version of the PDP Bill there were key concerns surrounding cross-border data transfers, processing of data of foreign nationals in India, classification of types of personal data, and handling of employm...

NASSCOM’s feedback on MoHFW’s ‘Draft notification to notify all the medical devices under sub-section (b) of section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940’

As the representative of the information technology industry, we thank the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for this opportunity to present our views and suggestions on the Draft notification to notify all the medical devices under sub-section (b) of section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 to regulate them as per the provisions of the said Act and Medical Devices Rules, 2017 framed thereunder (draft notification). We appreciate the intent of MoHFW to adopt a new definition of medical devices, which would help align the Indian regulatory regime with the global practices. NASSCOM organized a policy roundtable on the issue of regulation of medical devices and received feedback from the industry. Based on inputs from our members and other stakeholders, we have prepared our ...