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March 4, 2022

Need for a unified Cyber regulatory Authority: CAIT

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Corporate Law

Need for a unified Cyber regulatory Authority: CAIT

Dear Shri Piyush Goyal Ji,

Sub : Need for a unified Cyber regulatory Authority

In a recently concluded two days National Conference of Trade Leaders at New Delhi which was attended by 152 top trade leaders m all the States, have expressed  their grave concern over continuous mat-practices and violation of laws and rules by various foreign funded companies in every sector of trade and services despite several warnings given by your good self on various national an international forums in past two years. such an irresponsible and cal-lous attitude of the e-commerce companies have brought high level distortions and anomalies in e-commerce policy and formation of a unified cyber regulatory Authority is all the more necessary. Therefore, the conference has passed a unanimous resolution as follows:

1. The Internet and technology have revolutionized the way people operate arid interact on an everyday basis. It has given imper to traditional businesses, led to the emergence of new forms of businesses and business practices, and empowered  citizens by making information affordable, and accessible to all, Increased Internet penetration and adoption technology at all levels of society coupled with rapid digitization across sectors have caused large-scale disruption in the society and economy and brought in its wake new and unforeseen issues and challenges. Redressal of these emerging and unforeseen issues, therefore, become crucial an requires a nuanced understanding and technical evaluation of various elements of the digital economy, including data, consumer behavior, emerging technologies, etc. all of which serve as building block-for the digital ecosystem. In this regard, it becomes imperatives that a streamlined and holistic approach to the regulation of the digital ecosystem adopted at the highest  level that helps address cross-cutting issues with cross-sectoral implications relating to the development, use, and adoption of technology.

2. Currently, India has a legacy regulatory architecture across sectors wherein the subject-matter jurisdiction of each such tor has evolved over time in a fragmented manner to address present concerns. has left a significant portion emerging technologies, products, services, online behaviour, business models, and practices to operate in a regulatory vacuum on account of either the issues having cross-cutting implications across sectors or the issues Currently not failing within the domain of any regulator. Both these instances have also been a root cause conflicts between regulators and have led to market uncertainty which has inhibited innovation and growth. This fragmented approach has also impeded the governments ability to fully and holistically capture the risks associated with any product, service, business model and /or business practice in the digital ecosystem and respond to it in a speedy manner. Further various contemporary legislation and policies, also envisage the setting up, narrowly tailored regulators. All of which is cumulatively furthering the governments ability to respond to the rapidly evolving challenges and needs of the digital ecosystem in a holistic and effective manner.

3. Therefore, to mitigate these challenges, ensure that the dynamic nature of the Internet and technology and the innovation that it brings with it, and to deal with the diverse impacts and outcomes that arise out of the same across sectors, there is a need for an effective, coordinated and unified regulatory intervention by a multifaceted, specialized dedicated, and responsive regulatory architecture. In this regard, a unified Cyber Regulatory Authority that straddles across areas such as data, development, use, and adoption of technology, consumer welfare, online behaviour, etc. is the need of the hour. Such a regulatory authority must be supported by a dedicated, specialized, and responsive investigatory and adjudicatory mechanism.

4. Previously in 2013, a similar, unified regulator was proposed for the financial sector in India by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms, Commission. me French Digital Council, United Kingdoms Centre tor Data Ethics and. Innovation; and Singapore’s Into-communications Media Development Authority may serve as a useful reference in establishing such a unified, dedicated, and expert architecture for the digital ecosystem.

5. This Conference of the trade leaders, therefore, urged Union Minister for Commerce Shri Piyush Goyal to roll out a robust and well defined e-commerce policy and constitution of a unified and empowered Cyber Regulatory Authority to regulate and monitor not only e-commerce trade but also the issues incidental to e-commerce. The Conference also decided to take up the issue with Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Shri Ashwini Vaishnav as well.

We are sure that it will receive your kind attention and you will be pleased to accept the above resolution in the larger interest of the trade and economy of the Country. Meanwhile, a delegation of the CAIT wishes to call upon your good self to discuss the e-commerce and retail trade issues. We shall be grateful if you kindly accord us an earliest convenient appointment.

Thank You.

With kind regards Truly yours

National Secretary General Confederation of All India Traders

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